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REPORTER Tara Brown and her 60 Minutes colleagues are facing a second night behind bars in Beirut. Police detained on kidnapping suspicion Brown, producer Steven Rice and a cameraman while they were trying to film the recovery of the brother and sister, who were taken to the Middle East by their Lebanese father. It seems inevitable now the crew will remain trapped there for a second night, although they have finally had access to a lawyer in the last few hours. Lebanese authorities said the 60 Minutes crew were detained on suspicion they were involved in the abduction of two children, aged four and six. A British citizen has also been detained suspected of planning to smuggle the children out of Lebanon on his boat. According to a police official the journalists said during questioning they were on a humanitarian mission and their aim was not to kidnap the children.
It comes after another 60 Minutes drama overseas last month, when presenter Liz Hayes, producer Rice and their crew were attacked by refugees in Sweden.
Journalists from ABC’s Four Corners were detained by Malaysian police three weeks ago after trying to question Prime Minister Najib Razak over a corruption scandal. Ms Bishop said in a statement: “I confirm that DFAT has been in contact with Channel 9 with regard to reports that an Australian TV crew has been detained in Lebanon.” “We ... have offered all appropriate consular assistance.” DFAT said it November that it had provided consular assistance in the past to an Australian woman in relation to a child custody matter in Lebanon and stood ready to offer further help “if she makes contact.”
The young mother had previously appealed to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to help her retrieve the children and tackle the complex Lebanese court system. But Ms Faulkner said because parental child abduction is not criminalised in Australia, the government had shown no interest in assisting her or her family. “It’s not just about me and my children, there are hundreds and hundreds of families that this has happened to,” she added. “They can’t really do anything. Some people spend over $100,000 that could have been spent on the children.”
...Article 11 of the Convention explicitly requires State Parties to combat the illicit transfer and retention of children and promote the conclusion of bilateral or multilateral agreements or accession to existing agreements that do so, Article 35 stipulates that "States Parties shall take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the abduction, sale or traffic of children for any purpose or in any form."
And 60 minutes continues to get themselves more and more involved in the stories they are only supposed to "cover".