Striking a balance
There have been concerns that Egyptian police used torture for years - but it has always been hard to prove. Our reporter in the country obtained graphic mobile phone pictures putting it beyond doubt. The most disturbing were pictures of a man naked from the waist down - his legs lifted in the air while he was sodomised with a pole. The camera zoomed in on his face, contorted in agony. Many found his screams the most disturbing aspect. To add to the seriousness of the issue, the British government is considering sending prisoners back to Egypt.
We thought long and hard about what Ian Pannell could show in his report (which you can watch here). We decided to show a few seconds of the man's face, removing the soundtrack of screams, and then freezing the picture as we explained the rest, which was too disturbing to show. There was a warning in the studio introduction, and Ian's commentary made clear what was coming. I believe we struck a balance between the need to show the horror of what happened, with concerns about exposing the audience to graphic images.