Journalists in Danger

Journalist whistleblower faces life imprisonment, or worse

What is misleadingly being called in Israel the “Anat Kamm espionage affair” is quickly revealing the dark underbelly of a nation that has worshipped for decades at the altar of a security state. Next week 23-year-old Kamm is due to stand trial for her life — or rather the state’s demand that she serve a life sentence for passing secret documents to an Israeli reporter, Uri Blau, of the liberal Haaretz daily. She is charged with spying. Jonathan Cook analyzes. 

The perils of blogging in Egypt

According to Gamal Eid, Executive Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, the recent arrests of bloggers is an attempt by Mubarak’s regime “To silence the voices that criticize the [Egyptian] government’s performance and send a message by assaulting and kidnapping, to say that criticism will not be tolerated.” Rannie Amiri reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

Israel bans foreign journalists from entering besieged Gaza

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Israel has imposed a virtual news blackout on the Gaza Strip. For the last ten days no foreign journalists have been able to enter the besieged territory to report on the escalating humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s complete closure of Gaza’s borders for the last two weeks. Steve Gutkin, the AP bureau chief in Jerusalem and head of Israel’s Foreign Press Association, said that he personally “knows of no foreign journalist that has been allowed into Gaza in the last week.” 

Ramallah Palestinian Authority blocks website reporting on corruption

The Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah has blocked access to a popular news website because of the site’s reporting on widespread corruption among the entourage of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. For several days, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been unable to view the website Donia al-Watan ( as access has been blocked through the PA-controlled telecom company. Readers outside Palestine and a few inside the country using proxies are still able to access the site. The Electronic Intifada confirmed that several users attempting to access the website in Ramallah and other parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank could not do so and instead saw a message in English stating “We are sorry, the site was blocked based on attorney General instructions [sic].” 

UN report castigates Israeli abuse of journalists

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - A new United Nations report on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories blasts the Israeli government for its heavy-handed treatment of journalists reporting on the military occupation. The 20-page report, which will go before the 63rd sessions of the General Assembly currently underway, singles out the mistreatment of award-winning Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer who was stripped, interrogated, kicked and beaten up when he returned from Europe to his home town in the occupied territory of Gaza last June. 

Mutual censorship in the West Bank and Gaza

GAZA CITY (IPS) - So much is missing as you walk down the street along the shops of Gaza. Food and medicines kept out by the blockade enforced by Israel; but also newspapers once a part of the street landscape. Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda and Al-Ayyam, two newspapers loyal to Fatah, are not around any more. And for once, you couldn’t blame the Israelis for censorship. 

West Bank journalists detained by PA intelligence

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the distention of three Palestinian journalists and a columnist by the Palestinian General Intelligence Service in Bethlehem and Qalqilya towns in the West Bank on Thursday, 8 May 2008. PCHR believes that such arrests constitute an attack on press freedoms and the right to freedom of expression, which are ensured by the Palestinian Basic Law and international human rights instruments. 

Thousands attend funeral of slain Gaza journalist

GAZA CITY, 18 April (IPS) - Fadel Shana’a just had to go to the scene of the Israeli bombing. As a Reuters cameraman, that was his job. He wasn’t the only one killed, but through his pursuit of attacks as they happen, he was always more at risk than most others. Fadel Shana’a was killed Wednesday because he was in the firing line, but also because, eyewitnesses said, he had begun to film the tanks that were firing. A barrage of metal shrapnel pierced his body as a tank missile landed close to him.