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International campaign to release 21 Palestinian journalists from Israeli jails

July 19, 2016 at 11:35 am

Prison cells, 20 June 2016 [Derek Key/Flickr]

The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate (PJS) has launched an international campaign to pressure Israel to release 21 Palestinian journalists detained in Israeli prisons.

PJS said in a statement on Monday that France, Britain, Italy, Spain and a number of European syndicates, as well as others in Latin American states, are participating in the campaign.

The campaign involves sending letters to both the EU and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demanding the release of the journalists.

In a letter addressed to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, IFJ protested the continued detention of Omar Nazzal, a member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate.

“The International Federation of Journalists, which represents more than 600,000 journalists around the world, is concerned about the increase in cases of administrative detention against the backdrop of the freedom of expression, union work and political freedoms,” IFJ said.

The federation has also expressed concern regarding the policy of administrative detention pursued against journalists by the Israeli government, urging Netanyahu to immediately release Nazzal and stop administrative detention.

PJS said the Israeli military court in Ofer has upheld the administrative detention of Nazzal for four months, ending on 21 August and expressed fear that the Israeli authorities will renew his administrative detention for another period.

A number of journalists’ unions across the world have also sent similar letters to Netanyahu and Lieberman.