Nasser Abu Bakr at the IFJ Congress in 2019. Photo : Fred Moreau de Bellaing
The International Federation of Journalists has called for the urgent reinstatement of Nasser Abu Bakr, the head of the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate following his victimisation by French news agency, AFP.
Abu Bakr, who has worked for Agence France Press (AFP) for more than 20 years, was sacked without valid reason, in what the IFJ’s leading body called “a clear case of victimization for his union activities, in contravention of the law and international standards”.
The dismissal came following the agency’s concerns over his strong public defence of the rights of Palestinian journalists in his role as President of the PJS.
Abu Bakr, who is an elected member of the IFJ’s Executive Committee, had been instrumental in filing complaints about the systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists by Israeli forces to the United Nations Special Rapporteurs and in documenting and exposing attacks on Palestinian journalists and media.
The IFJ will launch a global campaign to demand justice for Nasser. Already support has flowed in from public bodies in Palestine, from unions around the world and from the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions. Journalists in Palestine have staged protests outside the offices of AFP. Unions representing staff at AFP’s headquarters and other offices around the world have pledged their support.
The IFJ has already been in contact with AFP management in Paris.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “The dismissal of Nasser, an elected trade union leader, for nothing more than giving a voice to Palestinian journalists under threat and facing daily attacks is totally unacceptable. He must be reinstated”.