Reporters Without Borders to call on candidates to pledge support for media

first_img IsraelMiddle East – North Africa June 3, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Israel Israel now holding 13 Palestinian journalists WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists RSF_en RSF asks ICC prosecutor to say whether Israeli airstrikes on media in Gaza constitute war crimes Reporters Without Borders today repeated its concern about press freedom in Israel after the beating of two Palestinian photographers working for international news agencies and the official questioning of a journalist about a report concerning alleged corruption by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.”Instead of investigating the suspected corruption itself, state prosecutor Elyakim Rubinstein clearly prefers to exert pressure on the media,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard. “The questioning of the journalist is a serious abuse.”The organisation has frequently denounced attacks on press freedom in the Palestinian Territories by Israeli army troops using excessive and undue force against foreign and Palestinian journalists, who have been roughed up, insulted, targeted with weapons and harassed.The new concern comes on the eve of next week’s general election, when Reporters Without Borders will call on candidates to promise to respect press freedom. The appeal will be made in Hebrew and English, in the daily paper Haaretz on 24 January.The two journalists, photographers Jaafar Ashtieh of Agence France-Presse and Nasser Ashtieh of Associated Press, were hit and threatened with death by Israeli frontier guards in Nablus on 21 January when they tried to take pictures of the guards driving a jeep at high speed with two Palestinians hanging on to the hood to keep from falling off. The guards stopped and punched the photographers, warning that “if we see a picture of us published anywhere, we’re going to kill you.”Also on 21 January, a commission of enquiry appointed by the justice ministry questioned Baruch Kra, a journalist with Haaretz, which reported that an investigation had begun into a loan to Sharon by a South African businessman. Kra refused to reveal his sources, but a Tel Aviv prosecutor, Liora Glatt Berkovich, admitted at the same time that she had been the source.”The journalist was not questioned about the source of his information but because he was suspected of obstructing the enquiry,” the ministry said.The paper had reported on 7 January that Sharon and his sons Omri and Gilad were suspected of corruption, fraud and breach of trust concerning a $1.5 million loan to the prime minister by a South African businessman friend, Cyril Kern.Legal expert Moshe Negri said the questioning of a journalist was unprecedented and that the insinuation of obstructing justice was “completely unfounded. The Israeli supreme court has ruled in 1987 that police cannot force journalists to reveal their sources except in special circumstances. Related documents doc-1851.pdfPDF – 3.59 MBReporters Without Borders to call on candidates to pledge support for mediaPDF – 251.44 KB May 16, 2021 Find out more January 22, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Reporters Without Borders to call on candidates to pledge support for media to go furthercenter_img Organisation News Receive email alerts May 28, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders today repeated its concern about press freedom in Israel after the beating of two Palestinian photographers working for international news agencies and the official questioning of a journalist about a report concerning alleged corruption by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Help by sharing this information IsraelMiddle East – North Africa News News Newslast_img read more