Date: 3 May 2021
On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day
ICSPR: Protecting and empowering journalists and press institutions to work is a real guarantee for human rights and freedoms
The 3rd of May matches the World Press Freedom Day, where the United Nations General Assembly declared World Press Freedom Day in December 1993, and since then, the anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration is celebrated throughout the world on this day as international press freedom day, to ensure that governments respect their commitment to freedom of the press, in addition to assessing the state of press freedom around the world, and defending the media independence.
This occasion comes at a time that violations against journalists and media professionals and their institutions are being escalated, as the Israeli military occupation forces made journalists their direct target during their journalistic work and their coverage of events, which took many patterns, whether by shooting to kill, wound, suffocate, or smashing their press equipment, or by arbitrarily arrest without directing specific charges, or by obstructing their access to the areas of events, or by raiding press headquarters and destroying and confiscating their contents, or closing them and preventing them from reporting under penalty of responsibility, with the aim of preventing them from press coverage in an attempt to cover their continuous crimes against Palestinian civilians, despite the clarity of their identities and the emblem of the press that distinguishes them from others, in a grave violation of the lowest international law charters and human rights charters.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights “ICSPR” salutes journalists around the world, especially the Palestinians, on their glorious International Day, and stresses that the Israeli occupation forces’ targeting Palestinian journalists constituted a serious violation of human rights, and the rules of international humanitarian law, especially those condemn the deliberate attacks against journalists, media employees and individuals associated with them during armed conflicts, and affirms that the continuation of the Palestinian division has created climates for an attack on the rights of journalists, whether by detaining or assaulting them and preventing them from press coverage, or by issuing many laws that limit freedom of journalistic work, in light of the disruption of the Legislative Council and the domination of the executive authority over the rest of the authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Therefore:
1. ICSPR calls on the international community to protect journalists and press institutions operating in the occupied Palestinian territories, and hold the perpetrators of these violations accountable.
2. ICSPR demands the official Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to guarantee the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion, expression and journalistic work without any restrictions, in line with national standards and the international obligations of the State of Palestine under its accession to international conventions, among which is that journalism is free from any restrictions.