Friday, September 17, 2010

FAJ Supports Inalienable Rights of Palestinian Journalists for Justice and Freedom against Power and Impunity

FAJ Supports Inalienable Rights of Palestinian Journalists for Justice and Freedom against Power and Impunity

Islamabad; Sep 17 :- The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), the African Regional organisation of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) representing 38 journalists’ trade unions and associations in Africa, condemns in the strongest terms Israeli actions that infringe upon and impede journalists’ freedom to carry out their work in an environment that is free of danger, threats to safety and restrictions on freedom of
movement and unwarranted attacks against journalists on duty.

The latest manifestation of the Israeli government’s high-handed attitude towards journalists is the denial of entry to Younes Mjahed, Senior Vice President of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the President of the National Syndicate of Moroccan Press (SNPM) who was part of an international delegation from the IFJ for solidarity for Palestinian journalists. While the rest of the delegation
was authorized to get into Palestine, Younes Mjahed was singled out for discrimination as he was denied entry for no explicable cause.

FAJ expresses its outright condemnation of the barring of Younes Mjahed, the highest ranking IFJ official elected from Africa, who was supposed to enter the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories through Jordan. The Federation will not remain silent in the face of this ongoing and unjustified act of repression and will fight discrimination in all its forms.

FAJ and its leaders were shocked by the reaction of two journalists groups in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem who supported the indefensible denial of entry to Younes Mjahed to Palestinian territories and went further to attack our legitimate concerns, despite the fact that both the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate and the IFJ protested the barring of Younes Mjahed.

FAJ wishes to express its disappointment with the reaction of the Israeli journalists groups which in our opinion is far removed from the spirit of brotherhood expected of a journalists’ movement that has a responsibility to agitate for and promote cross border solidarity.

We would like to inform the international journalism’ fraternity the fact that these groups clearly put on record their “dissatisfaction” with the mission right from the outset, their repeated protests to the IFJ about the said mission, recalling their response to the violence against Palestinian journalists during the IFJ world Congress in Cadiz, and their blatant defence of the Israeli government’s attacks against journalists (including refusal to support IFJ statements condemning attacks of journalists in Palestine), the exclusion of Younes Mjahed from the mission was not just the act of a brutal bureaucracy. Younes Mjahed was simply an easy victim for a regime used to discrimination.

The response of these groups is not only regrettable, but also a grave challenge to the unity of the global journalists’ movement in the fight for justice and freedom.

FAJ believes that while those who barred Younes Mjahed were determined to stop him,
they will never succeed in subverting the will of solidarity, compassion and generosity that the global journalism fraternity feels for Palestinian journalists.

The repressive actions of Israeli authorities remain inconsequential as they will continue to be a focus of the solidarity movement and will only bring ridicule upon the people that cover up these brutalities. We take this opportunity to remind these Israeli journalists groups of their cardinal duty to rise to the defence of free journalism and desist from adopting political postures of any guise.

FAJ calls on world journalists and all other media workers to stretch our hands across the seas and our continents to join together to support unequivocally Palestinian journalists against the oppression they face. Also, FAJ wishes to voice its admiration and support for the leaders and the members of the Palestine Journalists Syndicate for taking the lead in the struggle to secure safe and secure working conditions and justice for Palestinian journalists, who continue to live under, and struggle against, repression of their fundamental human rights.

African journalists support the just struggles of the Palestinian journalists through building a mass movement for freedom for our brothers and sisters in the occupied territories.

FAJ will further communicate our actions to sustain our solidarity for inalienable rights of the Palestinian journalists. Though we distance ourselves from the Israeli-Palestinian politics; killings and the abuse of journalists cannot be justified and shall not be accepted.

| President Foster Dongozi | Vice President Ndey Tapha Sessoh | Treasurer 3rd Floor, VDN lot N°4&6, Sicap Sacré Coeur III BP 21722, Dakar, Senegal. Tel: +221 338679586/87
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Shamsul Islam Naz
Secretary General
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