Thursday, December 13, 2018

UN calls for Israel to respect rights of Palestinian journalists


By Elizabeth Jenkins - March 28, 2018
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [press freedom] [UN]

United Nations Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk has denounced restrictions on press freedom in Palestine and called for Israel to respect the rights of Palestinian journalists.  

Lynk spoke out at a meeting organised by the International Federation of Journalists (IFG) during the Human Rights Council’s 37th session on March 19.
 
In the report, IFG’s Deputy Secretary General Jeremy Dear described the attacks as “a systematic attempt to silence the voice of Palestinian journalists, deliberate and calculated actions which are in flagrant breach of the Israeli government’s international obligations.” “The international community must act to stop these abuses,” Dear added.
 
In Feb. 2018, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) published a report detailing the violations committed against Palestinian journalists in the previous year, which increased by 37% in comparison to 2016.
 
PJS President and member of the IFJ's Executive Committee, Nasser Abu Bakker, detailed the results of the report at the Human Rights Council meeting.
 
Bakker cited 81% of media violations were committed by Israeli forces, totaling 740 incidents. Palestinian authorities however were responsible for 19% (169 violations).
 
Abu Bakker echoed calls by Michael Lynk and IFJ to respect the rights of Palestinian journalists.
 
Media violations included arrests of journalists, financial penalties, the closure of media offices and production companies and websites blockages. Most violations in 2017 took place in Jerusalem, followed by Hebron and Ramallah.
 
147 violations by the occupation forces were recorded in December alone - the month US President Trump announced he would move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
 
At the time of the report’s release, PJS President Abu Baker condemned the increase in attacks by Palestinian authorities: “With this sharp escalation in the Israeli violations against our journalists, it is shameful to see such an increase in the violations committed by the local authorities.”
 
Commenting on the results of the report, IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “The IFJ is deeply concerned about the dramatic increase in violations against Palestinian journalists.”
 
Bellanger called on both Israeli and Palestinian authorities to guarantee the safety of Palestinian journalists covering protests, and to ensure press freedom in the West Bank and Gaza.
 
The European Parliament was informed of the report’s results at a special hearing session held in Brussels in Feb. 2018. During the session, the IFJ, its affiliate PJS and the Federation of Arab Journalists launched an international campaign aimed at increasing awareness of the plight of Palestinian journalists and guaranteeing their rights.
 
According to the report, 29 journalists remain in Israeli jails in violation of international law, including five waiting to be sentenced and six in administrative detention.
 
On March 25, journalist Bakr Abdul-Haq – who works for Palestine TV – was abducted on his way back from collecting an award commending his work in Cairo, Egypt. He was transferred to al-Maskobiyya interrogation facility in East Jerusalem, and no information was given regarding reasons or charges.
 
PJS described the attack as part of, “a series of illegal measures meant to terrorize the journalists in Palestine, and their people.” 
 

Back to Top

Related Articles

The quiet rebellion: female resistance in Palestine
December 11, 2018

Three months of struggle against Jewish outpost
December 11, 2018

The struggle for Palestinians crossing checkpoints to work
December 11, 2018

Most Popular Articles

Israelís puppet war unmasks apartheid regime
The El-Hakawati theatre was colorfully adorned to host its annual International

Israel Avoids Hard-Right Shift: No Benefit for Palestinians
With many commentators predicting big wins for the settler movement in

Rushdi Tamimi becomes second victim of Israeli army in Nabi Saleh
On Tuesday November 21st, the body of 31 year old Rushdi Tamimi was

Designed & Developed by: Pixel Co