The International Federation of Journalists welcomed the decision by Palestinian extremists to free Peruvian photographer Jaime Rázuri, kidnapped in Gaza a week ago.
The IFJ says this kidnapping, which ended in Rázuri’s safe return yesterday, must be the last after a series of abductions of media staff by Palestinian groups.
“These tactics foment terror and intimidation and seriously damage the Palestinian cause,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “We are delighted that our colleague Rázuri has been freed, but this must never happen again.”
Rázuri, 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.
IFJ affiliates in Palestine and Peru supported Agence France-Presse (AFP) efforts to free Rázuri. The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS), held a demonstration in front of the Palestinian Legislative Council last week when 70 journalists participated with signs that said “Freedom of the Press” and “Freedom for our Colleague.”
In October, an Associated Press photographer was abducted by Palestinian gunmen and freed later that same day. In August, two Fox News journalists were kidnapped and held for two weeks before being released.
“Taking journalists or other media staff hostage is a frightening and intolerable form of intimidation that not only threaten press freedom and the lives of innocent civilians but also does incalculable harm to the Palestinian cause,” White said.
For further information contact IFJ +32 2 235 22 00
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries