International Federation of Journalists

Iraqi Journalists Issue new Appeal for Release of BBC Journalist

Journalists’ leaders and media chiefs meeting in Iraq today issued a new appeal for the release of kidnapped BBC journalist who has been missing for eight weeks in Palestine. The Iraqi journalism community was meeting in Irbil in the north of the country to put together a national safety and security strategy to combat the threats to media and reporters in a conflict that has already claimed the lives of more than 200 media staff since the United States invasion in 2003. 

Palestinian Solidarity Strike to Secure Release of BBC Correspondent

3 April 2007 — The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called for the immediate release of kidnapped BBC correspondent Alan Johnston and backed Palestinian journalists’ decision to hold a three day-strike to call for his release. “It is unconscionable that the Palestinian government has not done more to secure Alan’s release,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “Every day that passes jeopardises Alan’s safety even further and we support our Palestinian colleagues in their work to make sure that he is released quickly and unharmed.” 

Federation of Journalists and Palestinians Join Forces in Call for Release of Kidnapped Photographer

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and journalists across the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip today demanded the immediate release of Peruvian photographer Jaime Razuri, kidnapped in Gaza on Monday. “Free him now and stop this cat-and-mouse intimidation of journalists and media staff,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. The IFJ says kidnapping of journalists, which has been a feature of tactics used by political extremists, only damages the Palestinian cause. Razuri, a 50-year-old Peruvian national working for Agence France-Presse (AFP), was abducted by gunmen on 1 January as he was about to enter his office in Gaza. 

Journalists Call on Israel to Explain Shooting of Al Jazeera in Palestine

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on the Israeli Defence Forces to explain a shooting incident in Nablus, in which a news crew of TV satellite channel Al Jazeera was fired upon and a technician injured. “First reports suggest that here was an unarmed media crew suddenly subject to an unprovoked attack by Israeli soldiers,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “If true, it is an astonishing and terrifying example of targeting and the Israeli authorities must give an explanation as to how this happened.” 

Vanunu will appear in court for talking to press

The International Federation of Journalists has called for an end to official harassment of Mordechai Vanunu - the man who told the world that Israel possessed nuclear weapons - as Israeli judges moved to send him back to jail for speaking to journalists. Vanunu will appear in court tomorrow, charged with violating restrictions that prevent him leaving the country and ban him from speaking to foreigners. If found guilty, he could be jailed for nine months on a total of 21 criminal counts. “This man has served his time for revealing what everyone has known for many years,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “Now he is being harassed simply for talking to journalists.” 

Israel bans Palestinian journalists from covering Gaza disengagement

The International Federation of Journalists today renewed its appeal to Israel to end the ban on accreditation for Palestinian journalists, which prevents local media from covering the end of the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip. “This is a historic moment for Palestinians,” said Aidan White, General Secretary of the IFJ, as the work to remove settlements in the area began, “but local journalists cannot cover the story because Israel discriminates against Palestinian journalists and refuses to grant them press cards that will give them access to the area.” Only a handful of Palestinian journalists have been granted a card allowing them to cross into Gaza to cover the story. 

Federation of Journalists condemns intimidation of whistleblower

The International Federation of Journalists today accused Israel of bullying and intimidation in its continuing campaign against Mordechai Vanunu, the man who spent 18 years in jail for telling the world that Israel possesses nuclear weapons but who may be sent back to prison - for talking to reporters. “Israel is creating a new crime - of talking to journalists,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “It is a shocking betrayal of democratic principles in what is a vindictive campaign of bullying and intimidation against a man who has served his time.” Vanunu was served with official notice yesterday that he is to be brought to trial for breaking draconian restrictions imposed on him by the authorities following his release from prison in April last year. 

Journalists accuse Israel of "disgraceful abuse" over arrest of Vanunu

The International Federation of Journalists today accused the Israeli authorities of “a disgraceful abuse of democracy” over the intimidation of Mordechai Vanunu, the whistle-blower arrested yesterday by Israeli police just six months after his release from jail, where he served 18 years for telling the world about Israel’s nuclear arsenal. “It is extraordinary that a country calling itself the only democracy in the Middle East is itself guilty of this disgraceful and grotesque abuse of democracy,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “Vanunu has served his time but continues to be persecuted.” 

Israeli authorities detain British journalist

The International Federation of Journalists today challenged the Israeli authorities to “live up to the expectations of a democracy” and allow a journalist they have banned from entering the country to have access and to report freely. “It is intolerable that the country which claims to be the only democracy in the region is afraid to allow a writer access to the country,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary, over the ban on journalist Ewa Jasiewicz, a member of the IFJ British affiliate the National Union of Journalists. Ewa Jasiewicz landed at Tel Aviv airport last Wednesday and was detained by the authorities, who claim she is a political activist. 

Federation of Journalists urges Israel to respect rights of journalists

Delegates at the International Federation of Journalists Congress meeting in Athens today welcomed the decision by Israel to release from custody Peter Hounam who broke the story of Israel’s nuclear weapons capacity in an interview with Mordechai Vanunu 20 years ago. “His detention under rules which prohibit journalists from speaking to Mordechai Vanunu was unacceptable,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. The IFJ had earlier said that the detention of Hounam, a close associate of Vanunu, was evidence of “continuing hostility” within the Israeli security and political establishment against journalists trying to report on the Vanunu story.