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PEN America: “Journalists must not be targeted for doing their jobs.”

In World
March 19, 2024

(NEW YORK)— In response to a report from Al Jazeera stating that Israeli forces assaulted and arrested their correspondent Ismail Alghoul in Gaza, PEN America issued the following statement:

PEN America

“Journalists must not be targeted for doing their jobs. PEN America strongly condemns the reported assault and unjust arrest of Ismail Alghoul and calls on the Israeli military to immediately and diligently investigate the circumstances of the case and make the findings public. Freedom of the press is essential during conflict when disinformation spreads more easily. Palestinian journalists have faced enormous challenges  since October 7 and Israel’s retaliatory military campaign in Gaza began. They should be able to do the essential work of reporting as safely as possible. We call on all parties to safeguard the ability of journalists to carry out their work safely and to investigate all allegations of journalists being targeted by their forces.”
Alghoul was detained Monday (3/18), while covering the aftermath of an Israeli military raid, with the network reporting that Israeli soldiers beat Alghoul severely before arresting him. Al Jazeera reported that Alghoul was released 12 hours later, and he told the network that Israeli soldiers stripped him and other detained journalists of their clothes and made them lie bound and blindfolded on the floor in a room inside the hospital, firing their guns if any of the detainees moved. The network also reported that Israeli forces destroyed an Al Jazeera broadcast vehicle, cameras, and other equipment. The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that other journalists were arrested alongside Alghoul.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 90 Palestinian journalists and media workers have been killed in the Israel-Hamas war since October 7. Media organizations, rights groups, and the UN have raised concerns about several specific incidents in which they cite evidence that the Israeli military targeted journalists, both during the current conflict and previously.
About PEN America
PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at pen.org.
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DJ Kamal Mustafa
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DJ Kamal Mustafa is a Music Producer, DJ, Pakistani Filmmaker, News Editor of EMEA Trribune and Journalist.