Reporters without borders 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel was among the 25 countries where journalists were killed in 2010, the
nonprofit organization Reporters without Borders reported in its end of year
Freedom of Press Report published on December 30.
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One was killed last
year – Cevdet Kiliçlar, a Turkish journalist who was among those aboard the Mavi
Marmara vessel during the flotilla incident in May, according to information
posted on the French-based organization’s website.
In its specific
analysis of Israel’s press freedom track record in 2010, the organization writes
on its website: “Israel is capable of both best and worst practice when it comes
to respect for press freedom. Despite military censorship, its press still
enjoys latitude that is unequaled in the region.”
Among the cases
highlighted by Reporters without Borders is Israel’s arrest and incarceration
for three years of Golan resident, Ata Farhat, a correspondent for Syrian public
television and the daily El-Watan
Farhat was arrested for “espionage” at
his home in the Golan on July 30, 2007, and spent three years in an Israeli
prison before being released last August, writes the organization, adding that
this case was likely not reported by the Israeli media “because it was
designated a ‘defense secret,’ with lawyers for Farhat and the media forced to
keep quiet about it.”
In another case, a correspondent for Iranian
Arabic-language television Al-Alam, Khader Shahine was arrested on January 5,
2009, for reporting Israel’s entry into Gaza in the evening of January 3, before
censorship was lifted.
“His assistant, Mohammed Sarhan, was also arrested
and on January 13, both men were charged with divulging secret information‚ and
broadcasting information to the enemy in time of war,” according to the
Reporters Without Borders Israel page. “They were bailed on January 15 before
being sentenced on 14 June 2009 to eight months in prison, six of them
A spokesman for the Israel Police confirmed the arrests on
Overall, while the Freedom of Press Report 2010 reveals that 57
journalists were killed in 2010, a fall of 25 percent from the previous year,
the number of journalists subjected to all sorts of physical dangers, including
arrests, death threats and kidnapping cases continues to
Jean-François Julliard, secretary- general of the French-based
group, said there was concern over the phenomenon of journalists being kidnapped
and/or used as bargaining chips in conflict zones.
journalists are becoming more and more frequent and are taking place in more
countries,” the organization pointed out in the report.
“For the first
time, no continent escaped this evil in 2010. Journalists are turning into
bargaining chips. Kidnappers take hostages in order to finance their criminal
activities, make governments comply with their demands, and send a message to
the public. Abduction provides them with a form of publicity.
governments must do more to identify them and bring them to justice. Otherwise
reporters – national or foreign – will no longer venture into certain regions
and will abandon the local population to their sad fate.”Yaakov Lappin
contributed to this report.