The International Federation of Journalists today called upon the Israeli authorities to release all journalists who were detained on board the Gaza bound aid convoy on Monday morning.
The IFJ said up to a hundred journalists are believed to be among the passengers currently being held by the Israeli Defence Forces.
"The Israeli authorities must not play cat and mouse with professional journalists who are doing their job, not just for the company they serve but in the service of a worldwide audience," said Aidan White, IFJ general secretary.
The Israeli authorities have given reassurances that they will treat all professional journalists the same way as politicians who accompanied the flotilla and seek their early release and deportation.
Reports state that up to ten people were killed and many more injured during clashes between the military and passengers when the flotilla was boarded by the Israeli Defence Forces in the early hours of Monday morning.
"We are grateful for the tremendous efforts being made by leaders of the National Federation of Israeli Journalists to defend the rights of bona fide professionals who have been caught up in this series of tragic events," added White. "We will continue to work with our Israeli affiliate and others who have expressed concern about the detention of their journalists and media staff."
- Reporters Without Borders has asked the Israeli authorities to release a list of the journalists who were arrested during yesterday’s raid on the flotilla and to say where they are being held. RWB says there were at least 15 foreign journalists travelling with the flotilla who still cannot be reached directly. These are the names of the journalists known to have been aboard the flotilla:
- Reporter Svetoslav Ivanov and cameraman Valentin Vassilev of Bulgarian television station BTV; Muna Shester of the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA); Talat Hussain, a presenter with Pakistan’s Aaj TV; Sydney Morning Herald correspondent Paul McGeough and photographer Kate Geraghty; Al Jazeera correspondent Abbas Nasser and cameraman Isaam Zaatar; Mario Damolin, a freelancer working for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung; David Segarra of TeleSUR; reporter Ayse Sarioglu of the daily Taraf; reporter Murat Palavar of the Islamist daily Yeni Safak (New Dawn); TVNET foreign news chief Sümeyye Ertekin, producer Ümit Sönmez and cameraman Ersin Esen.