Sunday, April 17, 2016

Turkey and Israel Wage War on Press Freedom

Turkey and Israel Wage War on Press Freedom

by Stephen Lendman

Turkey imprisons more journalists than any other country, scores languishing in gulag conditions for doing their jobs responsibly.

Erdogan tolerates no dissent. Critics risk imprisonment on charges ranging from insulting the president to terrorism, espionage or treason. 

Previous articles discussed Turkey’s war on press and other forms of free expression - police state viciousness by any standard.

Israel treats Occupied Palestinian journalists critical of its institutionalized brutality the same way. 

During its 51-day 2014 Gaza aggression, 16 Palestinian journalists and Italian AP photojournalist Simone Camille were systematically targeted and killed.

According to the Committee to Support Palestinian Journalists, Israel arrested, detained and imprisoned 41 Palestinian journalists since last October alone - solely for doing their jobs.

Victims report brutal interrogations amounting to torture and mistreatment, as well as medical negligence and other forms of abuse.

So-called Israeli investigations into these and similar crimes are routinely whitewashed. Unaccountability is longstanding official policy.

Israel wants its high crimes suppressed, journalists reporting them considered traitors or terrorists.

Last month, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms’ (MADA) annual report explained an “unprecedented (largely Israeli) escalation of violations (in Occupied Palestine) against media freedoms during 2015.”

In a statement issued last week, it expressed great concern about escalated Israeli targeting of Palestinian media, wanting news and information on its brutal occupation suppressed.

It demanded responsible international community intervention to halt “all escalating attacks against media freedoms in Palestine…and hold accountable all the perpetrators of these violations.”

Police state legislation enacted weeks earlier permits targeting Palestinians for alleged “incitement against Israel,” journalists especially vulnerable for doing their jobs responsibly.

According to the Addameer prisoner support and human rights group, Israel systematically criminalizes “many aspects of Palestinian civic life” - cracking down on fundamental freedoms, ruling with extreme cruelty.

In its just released annual human rights report, the State Department accused Israel of “excessive use of force,” arbitrary arrests, “unlawful killings,” torture, restrictions on movement and expression.

At the same time, nothing is done to hold Israel accountable. Instead it’s rewarded with greater amounts of largely military aid - used to murder Palestinians and commit other human rights abuses.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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