Journalist syndicate proposes restrictions on photographers

New York, August 27, 2002—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) protests yesterday’s statement by the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, a professional press association based in the Gaza Strip, barring Palestinian and foreign journalists from photographing images of Palestinian children wearing military uniforms or carrying weapons.

It is unclear how this ban will be enforced and whether any punitive measures will be taken against those who violate it.

The statement by the syndicate said that such footage of children served “the interests of Israel and its propaganda against the Palestinian people,” reported The Associated Press. The AP also quoted syndicate deputy chairman Tawfik Abu Khosa as saying that photographs of children in these combative situations violate a child’s rights and have “negative effects” on Palestinians.

“Whether well intentioned or not, this constitutes censorship and will serve only to inhibit journalists from doing their jobs,” said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. “We call on the syndicate to rescind the ban.”