19 July 2012
IFJ Backs PJS Demand for Respect of Palestinian Journalists’ Dignity after Security Check Incident in Jerusalem
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on the Israeli authorities to respect the right to dignity of Palestinian journalists who work in the country. The call followed an incident on Monday at the press conference in Jerusalem of US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, when Palestinian journalists were forced to remove their clothes for security checks, according to the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), an IFJ affiliate. Those who refused were turned away, said the PJS.
“We share our Palestinian colleagues’ outrage at this behavior which should not be tolerated,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “The authorities must not allow the security forces to humiliate and discriminate against Palestinian journalists. They should apologise for this shameful incident and commit to preventing it from happening again.”
The PJS said that Palestinian journalists were singled out and made to remove their clothes as part of the security checks at the David City Hotel where the US Secretary of State was due to hold a press conference. The Syndicate added that the incident took place in front of US security personnel, prompting the PJS to send a protest letter to Mrs. Clinton.
“Stripping Palestinian journalists of their clothes using security excuses represent the racist policy of the Israeli government toward Palestinian journalists, in addition to severe restrictions on the ability to work and move freely like their colleagues from around the world,” said the letter which called on the US Secretary of State to take a stand against the violation of Palestinian journalists’ dignity.
The IFJ backs the PJS’ demand, saying that visiting dignitaries to Israel and Palestine have an obligation to speak out against the treatment meted out to Palestinian media despite the Israeli government’s claim to democratic rule based on basic human rights, including press freedom.
“This incident gives a lie to all pretence of equal enjoyment of human rights to everyone who is subject to the Israel’s jurisdiction,” added Boumelha. “That such a practiced of public discrimination can be on full display before high level foreign visitors should be condemned by those who are witnesses to it.”
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries