The world celebrates World Press Freedom Day on the third of May of each year, and it is an occasion to remind governments and actors of the need to provide protection for journalists, freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to access information for the media and independent journalists. What has changed in Palestine after a year of celebrating World Press Freedom Day?
From May 2022 until the end of April 2023, the Legal Protection Unit for Journalists at Press House - Palestine (BAS) monitored 1,109 journalists (women and men) who were exposed to an event that included a violation of their media rights and freedoms, while some of them were subjected to more than one violation within one year.
The total number of violations reached 1766 violations, including 1169 violations committed by Israeli occupation representing (66%) of the violations, (100) internal violations committed by various internal entities in Gaza Strip and West Bank representing (6%) only, and (497) digital rights violations representing (28%) out of the total violations committed.
Within one year, the occupation forces committed (1169) violations, as two female journalists were killed, (10) journalists were injured with metal bullets, (50) with rubber or sponge bullets, and (3) journalists were injured with unknown metal objects.
(194) journalists were injured by suffocation with tear gas, (150) journalists injured with direct physical assaults, and (23) journalists were subjected to direct gunfire during their media coverage.
During this period, (51) journalists were temporarily detained, (541) journalists were prevented from covering, while (33) journalists were threatened with harm, (38) journalists were arrested, (4) journalists were investigated, (5) journalists were tried (21) journalists whose press equipment, mobile phones, or identification cards have been confiscated, and (4) journalists who have been banned from traveling. Also, One institution and (3) journalists' houses were inspected, and one press institution was closed. Equipment and devices for (13) journalists were destroyed, and (3) journalists were deported from Jerusalem.
During the aggression on the Gaza Strip in 2022, two journalists were injured, (9) offices of press institutions were damaged, and (8) large-scale cyber attacks on media websites and local radio stations were monitored.
Internally, as the Palestinian division continues, and the poor protective environment for journalists remains, the Legal Protection Unit monitored one injury from metal bullets, one injury from tear gas suffocation, (6) physical injuries, (9) cases of temporary detention of journalists, (6) cases prevention of coverage, (12) cases of threats of harm, (16) cases of arrest, (2) cases of direct shooting at journalists during media coverage, (18) cases of calls for investigation, (5) trial sessions for journalists, (1) case of travel ban, and (11) cases of confiscation of press equipment, mobile phones, or personal or professional cards, (1) case of inspection of a journalist’s house, (1) case of damaging press equipment, and (10) cases of impersonation of journalistic institutions were also monitored.
In terms of the digital rights of journalists, Facebook closed or restricted (394) journalists accounts, in addition to (6) accounts on Twitter, (15) on TikTok, (3) YouTube channels, (51) pages on Instagram, (24) on WhatsApp and (4) websites.