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Demands of Trials for Journalist Murders

“All the Journalist Unions should move from statements of solidarity with the Palestinian [1]journalists to real actions and measures, as going to the international courts to try the Israeli officials who are responsible for horrific crimes and murders of Palestinian Journalists” stated the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate [2] “PJS” delegation during the World Congress of the International Federation of Journalists [3] “IFJ” “Journalism in Touch with the Future” which was held in Cadiz in Spain on May 25 2010. (Click on the pictures to make them bigger).

The conference was opened by the Vice-President of the government of Spain, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega [4], and attended nearly by 300 delegates representing reporting and editorial staff from over 100 countries.

[5]The delegation of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate “PJS”, included General Secretary Abed Al-Nasser Al-Naggar, his vice Yousef Al-Ustath, and Nabhan Khreisheh, the chairman of the PJS foreign relations committee. They spoke about the murders, horrible crimes and daily problems which the Palestinian journalists face under the Israeli occupation.

The delegation highlighted during it’s intervention about Israel’s crimes and the intentional assassinations directed against Palestinian journalists. The delegation raised the image of the Palestinian journalist Fadel Shana, who was killed two years ago by an Israeli tank shell while he was in the performance of his journalistic duties.

The PJS demands were met with huge sympathy inside the conference hall. The attendants warmly applauded the delegation.

The IFJ Congress was held in Spain as it coincides with celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of Cadiz and the adoption of the first freedom of press law in Spain, which was adopted in 1810.

The attendants of the congress were confronted with the full range of massive problems facing the media industry and journalists, including threats of death and violence, governmental interference, the crisis of confidence in traditional media and markets which are hit by the impact of the Internet, and growing demands from within the community of journalists for action to defend ethical and professional standards.

According to IFJ information published on their website [6], the Spanish deputy [7]Prime Minister, Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, told the world’s largest group of journalist leaders meeting for the World Congress of the IFJ in Cadiz, that decisions to be taken about the future of media and journalism will have an impact on the future of democracy. She said: “”Whatever the future brings, the press will remain the pillar of democracy”. She told the attendants of the IFJ conference ”We are nearer to having an informed citizenry than never before thanks to media.”

Jim Boumelha, President of the IFJ [8], told delegates at the Congress that the IFJ [9]represents a powerful voice for journalists and has grown into a global organization fit for journalism in the modern world. He said: “The IFJ has proved we can work globally and in unison in defense of journalists’ rights”; he added “the reaction to the unprecedented massacre of journalists in the Philippines and campaigns to defend journalists in Iran and the Gambia are cases in point.” He praised to the courage of journalists who are leading the fight back against attacks on press freedom around the world and said their voices needed to be heard.

Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary, said [10] that journalism is separating from [11]media as the past role of publishers as radical social reformers is fading. He added: “Publishers of traditional news media are now systematically abandoning fundamental principles of independent journalism and are cutting jobs, stopping investigative journalism, ceasing training and adopting business models based on the opposite of ethical journalism. If publishers and media owners continue in this direction, they will forfeit their role as defenders of news freedom and lose the justification for a special place in society” warned the IFJ general secretary.