Journalism without Fear or Favor – In Palestine Today

Journalism without Fear or Favor

The story begins thus:

I wish for a day where I could take that photo while flying, where I am not bound to the ground.

My name is Yaser Murtaja.

I live in Gaza.

I have never traveled.

End of the story…

Yaser died about two years ago, killed by an Israeli occupation’s sniper fire.

The photo indicated is the one posted as a cover to this article.

World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2020— This year, the day is celebrated under the title: “Journalism without Fear or Favor,” in an effort to protect journalists around the world from the grip of politics and commercial interests, sub-themed “Safety of Women and Men Journalists and Media Workers.”

In Palestine, nonetheless, neither safety, nor freedom, apply to journalism, where Palestinian journalists are coerced to operate in a world that functions by rules distinct to it, ones of horror as the Israeli Occupation continues to violate their rights.

According to a report by Committee to Protect Journalists, 2019 witnessed a “Digital War” against Palestinian journalists. The Occupation’s authority either shut down or suspended accounts of journalists, news and media outlets, both on social networking sites and WhatsApp.

However, this is not but a further layer to the violations committed by the Israeli Occupation against journalists. While the breaches took a toll on 18 Palestinian journalists between 1992 and 2020, as reported by the Committee, 15 journalists were yet detained at Israeli jails at the onset of 2020, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society.

These numbers are none but a part of the vicious circle to which the Israeli Occupation has doomed Palestinian journalists. In 2019, in Gaza Strip and the West Bank, 598 violations were registered, including a direct threat to the lives of 163 journalists, where they were either assaulted or shot at, the Committee indicates.

Sami Masran, Moath Amarnih and Atia Darwish, were among the journalists, whose eyes were targeted by the occupation’s sniper fire, rendered blind or with their retina damaged.

Another story

May 3, Twitter:

On its universal day: freedom of press in my country is just a right lost, a wish we hope someday would come true, not a reality we live.

Atai Dawish

End of the story…

May 3, Twitter:

I wanted to document the truth one day, I am today a truth that begs documentation.

I lost my eye, and became one of the hundreds of victims of freedom absence in the region.

Atia Darwish


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