May 3 marks the World Press Freedom Day, and the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said today that 12 Palestinian journalists are currently held behind Israeli prison bars.
The longest-serving of these 12 journalists are Mahmoud Essa (three life sentences and 45 years), Basem Khendoggi (three life sentences in prison), Munther Mefleh (30 years), and Ahmad Saifi (17 years).
Moreover, some of these journalists are held in Israeli detention without charge or trial, based on what the Israeli intelligence describes as the “secret file”.
“The occupation authorities have pursued the policy of arresting journalists and activists in an attempt to undermine their societal, cultural, and political role, and prevent them from revealing the crimes of the occupation,” the PPS said on this occasion.
Detention of journalists by Israeli occupation authorities has been on the rise since 2015 when Israeli courts started to use the pretext of “incitement” to justify their arrest as well as the closure of TVs and media institutions under military orders.
“Good journalism must not be allowed to die,” wrote Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud.
“We must fight back, in the name of Tareq Ayyoub who was killed by US forces in Iraq in 2003, and Yaser Murtaja who was killed by Israeli snipers in Gaza in 2018, and thousands like them, who are either dead or spending torturous years in Arab or Israeli prisons,” Baroud added.
Source: The Palestine Chronicle