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Sri Lanka Journalists for Global Justice condemns Israeli killing of Palestine journalist

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 12 April 2018 00:10

The Sri Lanka Journalists for Global Justice (SLJGJ) in a statement yesterday (11 April) called upon journalists and peace-loving people worldwide to unite in condemning the killing of Palestinian journalist Vasser Murtaja while on duty.

In the statement signed by SLJGJ President Jayatileka Silva and Secretary Mahinda Hattaka, SLJGJ also condemned comments by Israel’s Defence Minister justifying the killing, and called upon the Israeli authorities to hold to account those who shot and killed Murtaja and those who gave the orders.

Murtaja, a journalist attached to Palestinian news group Ain Media, died on 7 April, a day after he was shot by an Israeli soldier while he was covering the Palestinian Land Day protests. Five other journalists were injured in the firing.

The statement continued:

“It is the duty of every civilised nation to ensure the safety of journalists and recognise the role they play as messengers and watchdogs. The killing of Murtaja only confirms the culture of impunity that exists in Israel with regard to Israeli troops’ crimes against the Palestinian people. The deaths of Murtaja and scores of peaceful protesters in recent days belie Israel’s claim to be a democratic nation. Instead, they expose Israel’s apartheid nature and colonial mentality.

“According to human rights groups, Israeli soldiers had orders from senior Israeli officials to use live ammunition against Palestinian protesters even if protesters did not pose a threat to the soldiers or civilians. 

“We back the United Nations call for an independent international inquiry into the killing of unarmed Palestinian protesters who are demanding that Israel withdraws from Palestinian land so that the evicted Palestinians could return to their land of birth.

“We also note that according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJL) no one has been held accountable for the killings of journalists in Israel and occupied Palestine, though 16 journalists have been killed since 1992.”

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