STATEMENT
Israeli government must halt its extreme aggression toward protesters
14 May 2018
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP

The killings of at least 40 unarmed Palestinian protesters by Israel Defense Forces marks a grave and horrendous assault on the right to protest. Reports say more than 1,700 people, including journalists, have been injured.

Index on Censorship demands the Israeli government halt its aggression toward the Great March of Return protesters and immediately take steps to deescalate the situation.

“We call on the Israeli authorities to commit to upholding the international agreements they are party to — specifically the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights — that uphold the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and the right to life. This is a dark day for the state of Israel and its standing in the world,” Rachael Jolley, Editor, Index on Censorship said.

Monday’s killings follow months of protests that began in March by Palestinians to highlight the loss of homes in the wake of founding of the state of Israel. In addition to the killing of at 40 protesters, photojournalists Yaser Murtaja and Ahmad Abu Hussein were killed covering the demonstrations before the 14 May bloodshed.

Wider definition of harm can be manipulated to restrict media freedom

Index on Censorship welcomes a report by the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee into disinformation and fake news that calls for greater transparency on social media companies’ decision making processes, on who posts political advertising and on use of personal data.

UK must call for release of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa

Index on Censorship condemns the arrest of journalist and Rappler chief executive Maria Ressa by Philippines authorities and calls on the UK to make good on its promises to defend media freedom globally by calling for her release.

Uganda: Artists should not have to seek government approval to make their art

More than 130 musicians, writers and artists, together with many British and Ugandan members of parliament, have signed a petition calling on Uganda to drop plans for regulations that include vetting songs, videos and film scripts prior to their release.  Musicians, producers, promoters, filmmakers and all other artists would also have to register with the government and obtain a licence that can be revoked for a range of violations.

UK NGOs concerned over press freedom implications of Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill

Index on Censorship joined a letter signed by seven other NGOs expressing concern over the UK’s Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill, which goes to the final stages of parliamentary debate on 30 January. The bill has worrying implications for press freedom and human rights, including putting journalists’ data at risk.

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