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Al Mezan Commemorates the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Journalists

26-09-2017 11:02

September 26 marks the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Journalists, initially declared by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in 1996. On that day, tens of Palestinian journalists were injured by Israeli forces while covering incidents and clashes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) . IFJ then called on international journalists to enhance solidarity with Palestinian journalists who were increasingly subjected to violations of their human rights by the Israeli forces.

 

Monitoring and documentation indicate that the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) frequently target Palestinian journalists, including when journalists cover non-violent demonstrations. Violations against journalists take many forms, including denial of access to locations, destruction of equipment, arbitrary arrest, physical assault, and use of firearms that lead to injury or death. IOF not only targets journalists in the field, but also hinder their work through intentional disruption of broadcast signals, frequent shutdown of radio stations, and occasional destruction of media offices and broadcasting towers.

 

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights stresses the important role that the media has in society. Al Mezan reiterates that journalists must be allowed to carry out their work freely, while realizing their right to free expression, as enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Furthermore, at times of armed conflict, journalists are considered civilians and must therefore be granted due protection, as stated in Article 79 of Additional Protocol I (1977) to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which represents customary international humanitarian law.

 

Al Mezan stands in solidarity with Palestinian journalists and deeply values their efforts  to report on issues of public interest and expose violations of citizens' rights.

Al Mezan calls on:

  • -- Journalists around the world to show solidarity with Palestinian journalists and media outlets, who are subject to violations that go overlooked by the international community;
  • -- Palestinian authorities to annul all administrative and legislative measures, especially the recently decreed Cybercrime Law, which limit freedom of opinion and expression and hinder the ability of journalists to carry out their work, and to enhance the role of free press as a deterrent to human rights violations;
  • -- Palestinian journalists to support and promote democratic values and practices to effectively expose grave and systematic violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by all duty bearers in the oPt; and
  • -- The international community to intervene to protect civilians in the oPt, including journalists and media professionals.

Tags / #press #freedom of speech