JSC Submits a Memorandum to David Kaye on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Journalist
On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Journalist, Journalist Support Committee (JSC) has submitted a memorandum to David Kaye, the current United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, calling for protecting Palestinian journalists, in light of the ongoing violations they are subjected to by the Israeli occupation, within the Palestinian territories.
A delegation headed by Saleh al-Masri, Chairman of JSC in Palestine, handed over the memorandum to the UNESCO National Office for Palestine, stressing that it is the right of the Palestinian media and journalists to perform their professional work, without restraints, and without being targeted or prevented from reporting and moving across military checkpoints.
The memorandum states that "Israel" violates all international conventions and treaties that guarantee individuals the freedom of opinion and expression, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Fourth Geneva Convention. It adds that these violations amount to a war crime and constitute a clear contravention of article 19 of the International Convention on Political and Civil Rights (ICCPR).
The memo further stresses upon the UN Rapporteur to spare no efforts to protect journalists and to ensure their protection by allowing occupational safety equipment to be entered to Gaza. The JSC has also called to permit journalists with impairments and permanent disabilities to receive urgent medical treatment abroad, to be able to continue their profession.
Moreover, the memorandum calls to galvanise all efforts to guarantee the protection of journalists so that they can effectively exercise their journalistic and professional duties, to end the ongoing Israeli violations against journalists and to immediately release all 21 journalists from Israeli jails.
The memo underscores that the failure to hold Israel accountable for its crimes has legitimised impunity and the intensification of violations committed against Palestinian journalists, which entails all concerned international bodies to prosecute the perpetrators.
In the memo, JSC reveals in terms of numbers the ongoing violations against Palestinian journalists, especially during the Great March of Return, noting that the shooting of journalists, during their coverage of the events, led to the death of two journalists and the injury of (422) journalists, including personals who had been repeatedly injured. The violations include: deliberate killing; targeting with live bullets, rubber and gas canisters; suffocation; and other internationally prohibited means, which lead to severe injuries and put the journalist at risk of death.
The JSC's memorandum expounds that 104 have been wounded with live and explosive bullets and shrapnel that penetrated their body, often the legs. Besides, more than 180 journalists have been poisoned and fainted and suffocated as a result of the direct firing of poisonous gas canisters. 102 others have been targeted by direct firebombs, which caused burns, wounds and fractures. The firebomb also penetrated their heads and bodies, permanently mutilated and impaired them, some of whom lost their hearing and sight. A journalist has had his leg amputated, while 32 others have been targeted by rubber-coated bullets. Among the documented cases, 47 female journalists suffer various injuries and are still enduring the effects.
The 26th of September marks the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Journalist, a day declared by the International Federation of Journalists, following the onset of the 1996 uprising, during which dozens of Palestinian journalists were injured while reporting Israel's human rights violation of the international humanitarian law, in regard to dealing with civilians in the Occupied Palestinian territories.
Journalist Support Committee - Palestine
26 September 2019