Lecturer joins forces with Al-Jazeera

Ealing Times: Uncovering corruption: Stephen Desmond. Uncovering corruption: Stephen Desmond.

A LECTURER at Thames Valley University has been commissioned by Al-Jazeera news network to investigate corruption in Palestine.

Stephen Desmond, course leader for video production and Film Studies at Thames Valley University, examines political corruption and the finances of the Palestinian Authority in his latest documentary film.

The film, which will focus on three highly charged episodes of political intrigue in the Palestine territories, will be broadcast on Al-Jazeera around the world in late summer 2007.

Stephen said: "I am just thrilled to be awarded this film contract. Political corruption, human rights abuse and intractable conflict all go hand-in-hand in many parts of the world and it is a real privilege to be commissioned to make a documentary that will explore that complex relationship."

The film will have a particular focus on the moving story of Jaweed Al-Ghussein who was falsely accused by the Palestinian Authority of embezzling over $6 million from The Palestinian National Fund. He was subsequently abducted and imprisoned despite protest from the United Nations.

Stephen is passionate about exposing human rights abuses through the media and is responsible for co-founding The Centre for Conflict Resolution Journalism, a registered charity dedicated to promoting ethical news-reporting of war and international conflicts.

He added: "The story told in the documentary is a strong example of how human rights mean very little in many parts of the world and it's the job of the media to expose human rights abuse. The documentary is one further step in that fight."

Stephen is also writing a book on the role of the media in triggering state-sponsored investigation into recent political corruption and financial services scandals in The Republic of Ireland.

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