Israeli violations of press freedom

Jordan blocks newspaper edition over story on 'secret' Abbas plan

Jordanian authorities should lift their ban on today’s edition of an independent paper, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. Fahd al-Rimawi, editor of the weekly Al-Majd, told CPJ that security agents moved Sunday to prevent printing of the edition because of a front-page story about a “secret plan” to oust the Hamas-led Palestinian government. Al-Rimawi said security officials told him they would ban the April 30 edition if he did not remove the article, The Associated Press reported. 

Journalist, media worker killed in Gaza City

The Committee to Protect Journalist is outraged by the killings of a journalist and a media worker, who were shot on Sunday in Gaza City. Gunmen wearing presidential guard uniforms stopped a taxi carrying Suleiman Abdul-Rahim al-Ashi, 25, an economics editor for the Hamas-affiliated daily Palestine, and Mohammad Matar Abdo, 25, a manager responsible for distribution and civic relations, Editor-in-Chief Mustafa al-Sawaf told CPJ today. The taxi was stopped at 2:30 p.m. in a high-security area southwest of Gaza City that is controlled by Fatah, al-Sawaf and other journalists told CPJ

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. 

Worldwide rallies seek release of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston

The Committee to Protect Journalists joined with colleagues at a rally at U.N. headquarters today to call for the release of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, abducted in Gaza more than seven weeks ago. Journalists in London, China, and Indonesia also rallied today, World Press Freedom Day, in support of Johnston’s release. “No purpose is served by keeping Alan Johnston. Please release him now, and return him safely to his family,” CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney said at the New York rally, which was carried live by BBC television. “Alan Johnston is a journalist. He does not represent any country; he does not represent any government.” 

Palestinian leaders confirm BBC correspondent is alive

NEW YORK, 25 April 2007 - Despite encouraging statements from Palestinian leaders, the Committee to Protect Journalists remains deeply concerned about the safety of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, abducted in Gaza six weeks ago. Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Azzam al-Ahmad said in a statement that Johnston was alive and “in good health,” the BBC reported Tuesday. “The government is fully coordinating with the presidency and all security services to pursue the extensive efforts to release Johnston and bring him back safely to his home, family, and his work.” 

Journalists injured during Gaza demonstration in support of Johnston

Reporters Without Borders condemned the use of violence by parliamentary security guards in Gaza to disperse a demonstration today by Palestinian journalists demanding the release of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, who has been held hostage since 12 March. Three journalists were injured in the course of scuffles. “We are outraged by this violence against journalists who had gone to express their fears and emotion about Johnston’s fate,” the press freedom organisation said. 

Deep concern about BBC correspondent after killing claim

Reporters Without Borders said it was extremely concerned about the fate of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston after a hitherto unknown group calling itself the Monotheism and Jihad Brigades issued a statement today claiming it had executed him and condemning the British and Palestinian governments for ignoring its calls for the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel. “We are deeply disturbed by this news but we must nonetheless remain cautious as long as there is no evidence confirming that Johnston has been murdered,” the press freedom organisation said. 

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.” 

Great concern over continued detention of BBC journalist

Reporters Without Borders today voiced its serious concern about the continued detention in the Gaza Strip of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reporter Alan Johnston and appealed to the Palestinian Authority president and prime minister to take a tougher line with his kidnappers to obtain his release. “He has now been held for 21 days, longer than any other journalist kidnapped there. This is a turning-point for media workers in the Strip, many of whom have stayed away since the recent clashes there between Fatah and Hamas supporters, since armed groups use foreign journalists as bargaining chips with the authorities. 

BBC reporter still held two weeks after kidnapping

In an alarming resumption of the abduction and detention of foreign journalists in the Gaza Strip, BBC journalist Alan Johnston was abducted on 12 March 2007 in the Al Rimal neighbourhood in the west of Gaza City. So far, Johnston’s whereabouts, the identity of his captors and the reason behind his abduction have not been explicitly confirmed. The targeting of foreign journalists constitutes a bewildering and dangerous phenomenon that threatens the very notion of personal security and public order in the Gaza Strip. This crime is a flagrant attack on the rule of law, and further constitutes an attack against individual freedoms.