The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is urging people across the world to take action by signing a global petition calling for the freedom of movement and safety of Palestinian journalists. The appeal comes after Palestinian journalists were attacked on 17 June, 2013, as they held a peaceful march to launch the petition which is calling on the UN General Assembly to “reassert the right to freedom of movement for Palestinian journalists” and to “address the harsh restrictions placed on them.”
According to IFJ affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), who created the petition with support from the IFJ and the Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ), at noon journalists made an attempt to cross the Qalandiya checkpoint, using their international or local press cards.
Palestinian cross the Qalandiya checkpoint outside Ramallah, West Bank, into Jerusalem, July 12, 2013 (Photo: Activestills)
The PJS says Israel forces used “brutal behaviour” and “excessive force” to disperse the march, using tear gas, grenades and physical force. Seven journalists were directly injured in the attack, and PJS says that dozens more inhaled tear gas.
“We strongly condemn these violent attacks against Palestinian journalists involved in a peaceful march to launch the petition and the Palestinian Journalists Freedom of Movement campaign,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “This extreme use of violence is yet another example of the Israeli authorities’ blatant disregard for the basic rights of Palestinian journalists to freedom of movement when crossing the military checkpoints, outposts and border controls scattered around the West Bank. “It is unacceptable that Israeli authorities continue to reject media accreditation and press cards, including the IFJ’s press card, when carried by Palestinian journalists, preventing them from accessing areas where news events are taking place and doing their jobs.”
The petition, which will be sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, is part of the ‘Palestinian Journalists Freedom of Movement’ campaign to end attacks against Palestinian journalists and defend their basic right to move freely both within and outside their land.
To sign the Freedom of Movement for Palestinian Journalists petition and show your support, click HERE