The International Federation of Journalists today called the shooting of a Palestinian journalist in Ramallah during street protests over Israeli actions in the town a “new and tragic act of media persecution that compounds Israeli violations of Palestinian rights.”
The journalist, Esam Al Tellawe, working for the Voice of Palestine radio, was shot dead on Sunday morning while he was working in Ramallah. He died immediately from a single gunshot wound. The incident took place, says the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, during a peaceful public protest over the Israeli isolation of President Yasser Arafat, which gathered several thousands of people. Tellawe was wearing a press jacket, thus clearly identified as a civilian working journalist.
“This year has seen the intensification of actions against Palestinian journalists,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “This killing adds to the tragedy of Palestinian media caught in the crossfire of the conflict.” The IFJ, which has carried out risk-awareness training in Palestinian areas earlier this year, says the killing is another reminder that the authorities on both sides of the conflict must take action to protect media staff. “In particular, the Israeli authorities must allow journalists to move freely and they must recognise the right of Palestinian journalists to report freely on what is happening in the region,” said White.
The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries.
For further information, contact the IFJ, International Press Center, Residence Palace 155, Rue de la Loi - Bloc C, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium, tel: +322 235 2200 or +322 235 22 01, fax: +322 235 22 19, web: www.ifj.org