IFJ Calls on Israel to Release Journalists Arrested in Gaza

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today condemned the arrest  of two Palestinian  journalists from Gaza who are detained by Israeli military authorities since 5 January 2009 .

"We demand that these journalists who are being unlawfully detained are released immediately," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "Israel has no legitimate reason to detain journalists who are neither on its soil nor involved in fighting in Gaza."

According to media reports, Khadir Shahin, journalist for Al-Alam TV and his producer were arrested by Israeli soldiers on Monday 5 January 2009 and have since been detained in unidentified location.

The IFJ has condemned the attack on the building housing media offices including Al-Alam TV last Friday 9 January by Israel's war planes.

"By harassing journalists and media organisations who have escaped the ban on foreign journalists to enter Gaza , Israel makes plain its intention to prevent proper and objective coverage of the conflict in Gaza," added White. "The situation speaks more about unashamed intimidation and manipulation of media  than about security consideration on the part of Israel."

The IFJ yesterday called on the United Nations Secretary General to investigate violations of journalists' rights and other international law provisions, especially the Security Council Resolution 1738 concerning the protection of journalists and media personnel in conflict zones.

For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide