Wednesday, October 13, 2010

IFJ condemns Hamas over closing journalists syndicate

From the IFJ:
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the action of the Hamas Internal Security department which closed down the office of the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate (PJS) in Gaza, accusing them of ‘inexcusable intrusion" in the internal affairs of Palestinian journalists.

"The action by the Hamas government is a violation of journalists' rights and a slap in the face of Palestinians who are courageously fighting for their rights and the independence of journalism in appalling conditions," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President, who led an IFJ delegation to Palestine last month. "We join our affiliate the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate in their strong protest and we support their demand for an investigation into this action."

"It is impossible not to conclude that Hamas authorities are targeting journalists who wish to promote solidarity and unity within the Palestinian community," said Boumelha. "It is another example of Hamas intolerance in the Gaza strip which has seen other actions to restrict media freedoms, including the closure of several media and detentions of tens of journalists."

Last month, Hamas government stopped the Gaza-based University of Al Azhar from operating a video link organised by the PJS for its members in Gaza to join their colleagues at a meeting in Ramallah with the IFJ delegation visiting Palestine after its members had been denied permission to enter Gaza by Israel.
The PJS is a member of IFJ, which explains why the IFJ was quick to condemn the action (most Hamas actions against journalists are roundly ignored or minimized by the group.)

The IFJ is very partisan, as I showed in this post from 2008.