The International Federation of Journalists submits two complaints to the United Nations regarding the systematic Israeli targeting of journalists

The International Federation of Journalists submitted two complaints to the United Nations Organization, yesterday, Tuesday, stating that the systematic Israeli targeting of Palestinian journalists, and Israel's failure to prosecute the accused is a violation of freedom of expression and the right to life and a flagrant violation of international and humanitarian law. Amounts to "war crimes".

The International Federation of Journalists and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate have lodged complaints with Irene Khan, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, and Agnes Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur on arbitrary or extrajudicial executions. The complaints represent the victims and their families and were drafted by the senior human rights attorney at Dotty Street Chambers. Both complaints include allegations of systematic targeting, excessive use of lethal force, discrimination and impunity.

The two complaints call for the special rapporteurs to investigate the case of Moaz Amarneh, who lost his appointment by Israeli fire in 2019, the killing of Ahmed Abu Hussein and Yasser Murtaji in 2018, and Nidal Shtayeh was wounded in 2015.

According to the two complaints, the four cases mentioned summarize the systematic targeting of the Israeli army against Palestinian media professionals. It is a practice inconsistent with international law and the official rules of the Israeli army. In addition, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that lethal force should only be used as a last resort, and in circumstances where there is an actual danger to life or bodily integrity.

“Besides the authorities’ systematic failure to investigate, the deliberate use of lethal force and “less lethal force” to the head resulting in serious and permanent injury, in circumstances in which individuals can be clearly identified as journalists, constitutes a particularly serious violation of the right to life and freedom of expression. Blatant disregard for the rule of law. "

These repeated incidents, which target journalists with lethal or possibly lethal force, raise real and serious concern about the existence of an official or unofficial policy to target journalists and others seeking to document and cover protests against the Israeli occupation.

This targeting of Palestinian journalists is part of a wider pattern of discrimination directed against them and against members of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, especially with regard to freedom of expression and movement, which prevents journalists from carrying out their work documenting and reporting on events and violations in the region such as the "Great March of Return" protests, which It creates a dangerous environment for journalists.

The complaints call for the special rapporteurs of the United Nations to take a series of measures to achieve justice and accountability in the killing of Ahmed Abu Hussein and Yasser Murtaja, and the mutilation of Moaz Amarna and Nidal Shtayyeh. It also calls for investigations into discrimination, and other systemic issues that hinder the ability of Palestinian journalists to do their jobs.

The International Federation of Journalists and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate have long documented numerous violations against journalists in the occupied Palestinian territories. In 2019, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate documented 760 violations of journalists' rights, including more than 200 cases of physical assaults, scores of injuries with rubber-coated steel bullets, and at least 10 serious injuries with live ammunition. In addition to at least 33 journalists who have been killed since 1990.

"The world has been documenting and denouncing for years the killing and maiming of Palestinian journalists by the Israeli forces, the daily discrimination they face, the denial of their basic rights, the refusal of their press credentials, and the prevention of their movement," said Anthony Pelangi, Secretary General of the International Federation of Journalists. "Punishment and failure to achieve justice. Words are no longer sufficient. The United Nations must take urgent action and not allow impunity and the continuation of injustice."

As Nasser Abu Bakr, the head of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, said: “We live daily under systematic targeting and impunity, as the Israeli army kills our fellow journalists, including those who lost their eyes under fire while documenting the occupation and the protests against it. No one faced justice for his crimes. Against our colleagues For the sake of these journalists and their families, we believe that these complaints are an appropriate first step towards achieving justice for them and for all Palestinian journalists.

 

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