Release time: 19 February 2010
The Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) has written to Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and asked for the immediate release of film-maker and freelance journalist Paul Martin.
President of the CIoJ, Liz Justice said: “This was an unprecedented step against a foreign journalist who had properly requested papers to work in Gaza and was approved for a visa to work as a journalist in the country.
“To arrest someone who is willing to go to court to back up a colleague by explaining that they are working as professional journalists goes against everything the CIoJ supports. The freedom of the press to operate objectively and openly is vital to any democracy.”
The CIoJ has also pointed out that British journalists are working with their colleagues across the world to help identify the people responsible for the assassination of the Hamas leader Mahmoud al Mabhouh in Dubai.
“We have pointed out to the Prime Minister that Hamas also need to act responsibility in dealing with press freedoms in their own country. Specifically the International media is focusing on this murder, making it more likely that the perpetrators will be found and any Government behind such action will be deterred from operating that way in the future.
Martin was arrested as a suspect for “harming Gaza’s security” after he appeared at a military court to speak on behalf of Mohammed Abu Muailik. The two had been working together on a documentary about Gaza. Muailik was held in detention in June accused of collaborating with Israel.
Notes for Editors:
Formed in 1884, the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) is the world’s oldest established professional body for journalists, and a representative voice of media and communications professionals throughout the UK and the Commonwealth.