World press body raps Israel for prosecuting journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) called Saturday on the Israeli authorities to abandon plans to prosecute journalists who visited Lebanon and Syria, countries with which Israel has no formal relations, in the course of their work.

World press body raps Israel for prosecuting journalists
"At a time when key players in the region are talking peace it is grotesque that journalists should be facing prosecution for doing their job," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary.

Israeli police said on Thursday they will recommend charges be brought against Ron Ben Yishai of the daily Yediot Aharonot who in September travelled to Syria, and two journalists who visited Lebanon, Lisa Goldman of the private network Channel 10 television and Tzur Shizaf also for Channel 10 and on behalf of Maariv newspaper.

The three reporters are holders of both Israeli and foreign passports, using the latter to enter the two prohibited countries.

Israeli law forbids its citizens, even those with multiple nationalities, from travelling to "enemy states" without permission from the interior ministry.

"It well known that journalists travel between countries in the region using different passports," said White. "In a difficult political and security climate it is often the only way they can possibly report on developments in the region".

"We are very concerned at the way this case has been handled and the threat to press freedom here," added White.

The Brussels-based IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Aralık 2007, 13:24