CPJ calls for accountability as reports find Israel likely targeted journalists in Lebanon

A TV crew’s car burns after it was hit by Israeli shelling in Lebanon on October 13, killing Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah. (AP/Hassan Ammar)

CPJ welcomes the reports by Amnesty InternationalHuman Rights WatchReuters, and Agence France-Presse into the deadly October 13 strike on journalists in southern Lebanon, which killed Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah and injured six others and reiterates our call for an immediate, independent, and transparent investigation that holds the perpetrators to account.

Using witness testimony, satellite imagery, and analysis of videos, audio, and munition remnants, the human rights groups and wire services concluded that the attack was likely a deliberate assault by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on civilians, which constitutes a war crime.

These findings echo some of those in CPJ’s May 2023 report, which showed a deadly pattern of IDF force that killed 20 journalists over the last 22 years. No one has ever been charged or held to account.

CPJ’s report found that at least 13 of the 20 journalists who died between 2001 and September 2023 were clearly identified as members of the media or were inside vehicles with press insignia at the time that they were killed.

The investigations into the southern Lebanon attack were published on December 7, the same day that CPJ’s research recorded that at least 63 journalists and media workers were among more than 17,000 killed since the Israel-Gaza war began on October 7—with more than 16,000 deaths in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank and about 1,200 in Israel. The deadly toll is coupled with harassment, detentions, and other reporting obstructions in the region.

More coverage and photos of the war’s unprecedented toll on journalists

Interactive map: Where journalists have died

FAQ: How CPJ documents journalists’ deaths

See CPJ’s safety advice for journalists covering conflict and civil unrest

CPJ announces board vice chair, 4 new board members

(Clockwise from top left): Roula Khalaf, Lydia Polgreen, Maria Ressa, Jacqueline Simmons, and Alan Murray. (Simmons’ photo provided by Bloomberg, others courtesy of the individual board members.)

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has announced its new vice chair of the board, Lydia Polgreen, opinion columnist for The New York Times, and the addition of four leading journalists to its board of directors: Roula Khalaf, editor of the Financial Times; Alan Murray, chief executive officer of Fortune Media; Maria Ressa, co-founder of Rappler, and Jacqueline Simmons, editorial lead of Europe, Middle East, and Africa at Bloomberg.

“CPJ is delighted to announce Lydia Polgreen as the incoming vice board chair and welcome four distinguished journalists to our board,” said CPJ Chair Jacob Weisberg. “They represent a tremendous range of knowledge and experience, and share a fundamental commitment to press freedom and safety around the world.”

“Lydia’s decades-long experience as an international correspondent and as a media executive leading a team of hundreds of journalists worldwide makes her uniquely qualified to understand the challenges journalists face to report the news globally during a period of unprecedented attacks on the press,” said Weisberg.

“All four new board members are not only accomplished journalists but passionate about the role that a free press plays in the world. We look forward to working with them to keep journalists free and safe.”

CPJ’s board of directors is composed of journalists, media executives, and leaders from related professions in the United States and around the world.


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Journalists Attacked

Samuel Wazizi

KILLED



Cameroonian news anchor and camera operator Samuel Wazizi died in government custody on August 17, 2019.

Police officers arrested him on August 2, saying they were looking for Wazizi to “get a certain information for their boss, the commissioner.”

On August 7, he was transferred to military custody and disappeared. In June 2020, military authorities disclosed that Wazizi had died of “severe sepsis” 10 days after that transfer.

CPJ has repeatedly called for authorities to allow an independent probe into Wazizi’s death.

In at least 8 out of 10 cases, the murderers of journalists go free. CPJ is waging a global campaign against impunity.

The Committee to Protect Journalists promotes press freedom worldwide.

We defend the right of journalists to report the news safely and without fear of reprisal.

journalists killed in 2023 (motive confirmed)
imprisoned in 2022
missing globally