The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), the African Regional Organisation of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), condemns in the strongest terms possible the rejection by the Israeli government of an entry visa for a prominent world leader of African journalists.
Younes Mjahed, Senior Vice President of the IFJ and the President of Syndicat National de la Presse Marocaine (SNPM), a founding member of the FAJ, was denied a visa when he requested to take part in an international IFJ delegation that aims to carry international solidarity mission for Palestinian journalists on 13–16 September in Ramallah and Nablus.
“Denying this visa for Younes Mjahed has no acceptable reason and it is solely a political decision on the part of Israeli authorities to prevent the participation of this highly acclaimed and well respected journalists’ leader,” said Omar Faruk Osman, FAJ President. “We can only believe that this is part of a wider campaign of repression against freedoms of expression and the movement of journalists carried out steadily by the Israeli regime”.
Younes Mjahed submitted his application and required paperwork with enough time for the entry visa to be adequately processed and granted, but the uncooperative nature of Israeli officials resulted in a visa denial for unrevealed political reasons while claiming that this was due to a “delay” from Younes’s side.
“We categorically condemn the oppression and gross violations committed by Israeli troops against Palestinian and foreign journalists in the occupied territory of Palestine” added Omar Faruk.
The mission which is supposed to assess the situation of Palestinian journalists, including their safety and other working conditions as well as consequences of the ongoing conflicts, is also intended to build on the enormous efforts and activities organised by the world journalists’ community to demonstrate practical solidarity with the Palestinian journalists.
The Federation of African Journalists stands firm in solidarity with the Palestinian journalists against the oppression and terror by both Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups. “We will continue to support our Palestinian colleagues in their quest for justice, freedom, decency and dignity because we are against the oppression and suffering of Palestinian brothers and sisters,” Omar Faruk declared. FAJ supports the mission and is willing to address the findings of the mission in its upcoming leadership meeting to be held in Tangiers, Morocco at the end of this month.
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The FAJ represents over 50,000 journalists in 38 countries in Africa