Thursday, 14 October 2010

Hamas government closes down journalists' trade union

The Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate (PJS) office in Gaza has been closed down by the internal security department of the ruling Hamas party.
Jim Boumelha, president of the International Federation of Journalists said: "The action by the Hamas government is a violation of journalists' rights and a slap in the face of Palestinians who are courageously fighting for their rights and the independence of journalism in appalling conditions."
Jerusalem Post report
The Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate is affiliated to the IFJ - like the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) of the UK and Ireland.
PJS members held regular demonstrations in Gaza when BBC journalist and NUJ member Alan Johnson was being held hostage there in 2007.
Johnson and the leader of the PJS both addressed the 2008 NUJ conference.
According to the IFJ, the PJS aims to unite journalists across Palestine who are currently divided both by Israeli restrictions on freedom of movement and the political divisions between the Hamas government in Gaza and the Palestine Authority in the West Bank.

Hat tip: Jon Slattery

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