On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists
Journalist Support Committee: The occupation violates the freedom of 705 Palestinian media professionals since 2018.
The Israeli occupation continues its arbitrary policy against the Palestinian media and its activists, a punitive measure to pass the crimes of the occupier and its settlers through the use of various punitive methods to stop and stigmatize Palestinian journalists from practising their work in exposing the occupation's racist practices.
On the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, we at the Journalist Support Committee call upon the international institutions concerned with freedom of the press and media to prosecute the Israeli occupation for its direct crimes against Palestinian journalists in the Palestinian territories and to demand the implementation of resolution 2222 of the UN Security Council, which protects journalists.
The UN General Assembly adopted the resolution at its 68th meeting in 2013, by which it announced November 2nd as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI). This resolution urged Member States to take specific measures to end impunity.
We also hold the Israeli occupation responsible for the violations against journalists and "which has become an aspect that must be taken into consideration." We assure that the freedom of press work is guaranteed by law and no one can prevent or restrict it. We call upon human rights organization to exert pressure on the occupation to respect international laws and conventions that guarantee freedom of opinion and expression.
We note that several occasions and tough decisions are taking place at a time when the occupation continues its crimes against journalists and media professionals without respecting those laws and resolutions and without any deterrent from international quarters and courts. The occupation still detains in its prisons 19 journalists, including patients and three female journalists where some of them are mothers who left their toddlers, noting that the number of detainees in Israeli prisons fluctuates between increasing and decreasing, according to campaigns of arrests launched by the occupation authorities against journalists.
According to the monitoring department at the Journalist Support Committee, 7 journalists were arrested and sentenced: Mahmoud Issa, Ahmad Al-Saifi, Yousef Shalabi, Munther Khalaf Mufleh, Mohammad Nimer Asida, Mus'ab Sa'id and Estabrak Al-Tamimi. Four administrative journalists are also arrested without charge: Abdallah Shatat, Musa Salah Samhan, Osama Shahin, Muhammad Muna. Eight journalists are still awaiting trial: Bassam Al-Sayeh, Radwan Qatani, Yasin Abu Lefah, Musa Al-Qudmani, Ahmed Al-Arabid, Yasser Al-Arabid, Suzanne Al-Aweiwi and Lama Khater.
In the latest report prepared by the Committee since the beginning of this year, it showed that the occupation forces committed 705 violations, during which they arrested about 89 journalists, and extended, postponed and sentenced 59 others.
As for the injuries, the report pointed out that the occupation is expanding its crimes against journalists and media personnel by means of combat, which led to the death of two journalists who were shot by an explosive bullet, which had torn all of their internal organs, while covering the march of return on the borders of the Gaza Strip, which began in late March 2018. The journalists are Yasser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein.
Concerning the number of injuries suffered by journalists during their coverage and performance, the report indicated that 290 journalists have been injured since the beginning of the year in the occupied Palestinian territories, most of them from the Gaza Strip. The injuries varied from direct assault to rubber-coated metal bullets, live ammunition, stun grenades and battery. In addition to cases of suffocation and poisoning by the dumping of poison gas and pepper gas on journalists during their coverage.
The report also stated that the Israeli occupation forces prevented 87 journalists and media professionals from covering peaceful marches in an aim to prevent their work, confiscate their equipment and withdraw their press cards, which reached 32 cases since the beginning of the year.
The occupation also prevented six journalists from travelling, whether to receive treatment, to attend an international conference, or to receive prizes or education, under vague security pretexts.
The report recorded seven cases of incitement and accusation, and 43 cases of closure of institutions and sites, including the closure of the Jerusalem satellite channel while preventing it from working inside the occupied territories of 1948 and the city of Jerusalem and prevent dealing with it by companies that provide information services. In addition, the report recorded the closure of Elia Youth Media Foundation printing press, Al-Resala Media, the Palestinian Rai Agency, and Al-Aqsa Satellite several times.
Concerning incursions and raids of journalists’ homes and media institutions, 51 cases were documented.
The occupation has not only prosecuted journalists but also extended their hands to torture journalists inside Israeli prisons and prevent the visit of their relatives and lawyers and impose fines on them, which amounted to 39 cases of harassment in prisons, including 29 cases of imposition of a fine.
On the eve of celebrating the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the Journalist Support Committee affirms the following:
Journalist Support Committee - Palestine
2 November 2018