The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has accused the Hamas government in Gaza of systematic attacks on media after dozens of journalists were subjected to assaults by Gaza security forces who also attacked media offices, including Reuters and other international media groups.
Gaza ban on Palestinian journalist union
The authorities have banned members of the IFJ affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) from travelling to and from Gaza.
“We are appalled by the brutal force used by the Hamas authorities against media in Gaza,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary.
“There can be no justification for this media crackdown and Hamas once again has shown its intolerance for dialogue and press freedom.”
Security forces attack, beat journalist and confiscate documents
The PJS says at least 20 journalists were attacked, beaten and had their documents confiscated as security forces went on the rampage targeting media for its coverage of a rally held a fortnight ago calling for unity between Hamas and the Fatah movement. Several media offices were also ransacked and the authorities imposed a ban on the PJS board members.
The PJS organised a demonstration on the West Bank, in Ramallah, to protest against the attacks on Gaza based journalists and the ban on its board members.
Reminder of the violent and repressive nature of Hamas, says IFJ
The IFJ says that the latest attacks on media in Gaza is a reminder of the violent and repressive nature of the Hamas regime which opposes political reforms that are being demanded across the region.
“Hamas is out touch with the aspirations of journalists in the region who want the freedom to work safely,” added White. “Press freedom is an essential element to democracy. We stand by our colleagues in the PJS their outstanding commitment to professional reporting on events in Gaza.”
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