British government must act to ensure journalists’ safety in Israel-Gaza war

  • 08 Feb 2024

NUJ co-signs letter to Rishi Sunak urging call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and an end to impunity enjoyed by Israel over IDF killing of journalists.

At least 99  journalists have been killed in the Israel-Gaza conflict according to records held by the International Federation of Journalists. A letter to the UK prime minister signed by the National Union of Journalists, expresses grave concern at government’s failure to issue a public statement calling on Israel Defence Forces to ensure their troops refrain from targeting journalists.

Sent on 8 February, co-signatories add “The British government can and must do more to effectively pursue accountability for journalists killed in the hostilities and to protect and support local and international journalists covering them.”

The letter states:

We urge you to act immediately and decisively to ensure that all the parties respect the rights of journalists to report on the conflict. In particular, we ask you to: 

  • Publicly call on all parties to the armed conflict to respect the right of journalists to report on the hostilities, ensure journalists’ safety, allow all journalists seeking to evacuate from Gaza to do so, abjure the indiscriminate and deliberate killing of journalists, promptly and thoroughly investigate all attacks on journalists, and hold accountable individuals found to be responsible for them.
  • Demand that Israel and Egypt provide international journalists with access to Gaza, and that Israel cease communication blackouts and take whatever steps are necessary to assure the safety of journalists admitted to Gaza as well as those already working there.
  • Conduct thorough, transparent, and public assessments of the end-use of UK weapons and military assistance to Israel in the course of the hostilities to ensure/evaluate compliance with UK law or regulations, international law, and civilian protection responsibilities.
  • Demand that Israel allow the passage of personal protective equipment and materials used for newsgathering, such as helmets, flak jackets, phone chargers, eSIM cards, and laptops, to reporters in Gaza and the West Bank.
  • Support swift, transparent, and independent investigations into the killing of all journalists and an end to the longstanding pattern of impunity in the killings of journalists by the IDF.
  • Publicly call for the immediate cessation of hostilities in order to protect all civilians affected by the ongoing conflict.

Read the letter in full with signatories.


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