IFJ welcomes imminent release of Palestinian union leader
9 February 2017
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joined its affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), in welcoming the release on 20 February of Omar Nazzal, a board member of the PJS, who has been detained without charges for 10 months by the Israeli authorities.
Omar Nazzal (54) was arrested without any reason being given on 23 April at the border between the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Jordan on his way to Sarajevo to attend a meeting of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) as part of a PJS delegation.
Whilst unions remain cautiously optimistic they have warned against any further extension to his detention saying it would "represent a grave threat to media freedom".
Philippe Leruth, IFJ president, said:
"The imminent release of Omar Nazzal, a committed union activist and strong journalist is a relief for the whole journalism community.
"Any failure to release him at the due date will be seen by all journalists as an unwarranted attack on media freedom.
"We will continue to fight against the targeting and persecution of journalists and their union by the Israeli authorities and any other government that tries to silence our colleagues around the world."