- Published on Saturday, 23 June 2012 01:22
Many Palestinian journalists are unfortunately very familiar with the issues raised in two reports on media freedoms, released by the Human Rights Council- United Nations this week, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) said on Friday, 22nd June.
MADA welcomed two reports, released by the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution, Christof Heyns.
With the release of the reports, the Special Rapporteurs urged world governments, the international community, and journalists and media organizations to work to protect media freedoms and the 'right to life' of journalists.
As Mr La Rue said: "States continue to utilize criminal laws on defamation, national security and counterterrorism to suppress dissent and criticism, including on Government policies, human rights violations and allegations of corruption."
Mr Heyns said: "It is hard to imagine a world without journalists. Without their work, humanity would be reduced to silence, and yet a large number are killed each year with almost total impunity."
MADA Director General Mousa Rimawi paid tribute to Palestinian journalists who refuse to be silent and who continue to work in the face of threats and risks to their safety.
"Every day we see the courage and tenacity of Palestinian journalists, who continue to work with professionalism and passion, despite the risks," Mr Rimawi said.
"As the reports highlight, local journalists in violent or repressed environments deserve special recognition because they can experience the same violations as foreign journalists in conflict zones, but may not receive the same international attention.
"Sadly many Palestinian journalists are threatened, injured or arrested while simply doing their jobs and many journalists feel pressured to self-censor.
"As these UN reports show, journalists around the world continue to be targeted and repressed, including those using the Internet to publish stories.
"MADA will continue to support and encourage Palestinian journalists in their work, and to fight for freedom of expression in Palestine."
It's worth mentioning that MADA met in 9 December 2011 with Mr La Rue, during his visit to oPt, in the presence of a group of Palestinian journalists who had been attacked by Israeli occupation forces.