“We owe them a great debt.” UNESCO awards Gazan journalists with 2024 Press Freedom Award

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has awarded the 2024 Press Freedom Award to Gaza journalists for their coverage of the Israeli war in the Gaza Strip.

On their behalf, Nasser Abu Bakr, president of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, accepted the award at a ceremony held by UNESCO in Chile’s capital Santiago on Friday, World Press Freedom Day, which corresponds to May 3 in both countries. Year.

Abu Bakr described the awarding of the award to Gazan journalists as a “great historical event”.

In a speech after receiving the award, he described his feelings as “joy and pride, but mixed with sadness and joy for the loss of the martyrs of the Palestinian press, and for the loss of the (Israeli) murderers and their culpability.” “It embodies the determination and will to ask the question,” he said. I’ve tried. ”

He stressed that his union, together with the International Federation of Journalists and all journalist unions around the world, continues the process of prosecuting those who commit crimes against journalists.

Mr. Abu Bakr called on the Attorney General of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, to immediately begin investigative procedures into these crimes.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate on Friday praised UNESCO’s decision to award this year’s Press Freedom Award to journalists in Gaza, calling it “justice for the sacrifices of journalists in Gaza and across Palestine.”

She said this important award recognizes and honors Palestinian journalists in Gaza who have continued their work and media mission with all professionalism and competence since the war began in Gaza on October 7, 2023. I thought it was.

The union pointed to the martyrdom of 135 male and female journalists and media sector workers, the injuries, arrests and loss of dozens of journalists, the destruction of the headquarters of more than 80 media outlets and the bombing of journalists’ homes. Over the heads of residents during the war in Gaza.

Mauricio Weibel, President of the International Journalists Jury, said: “At this difficult and desperate time, we would like to express our solidarity and recognition to the Palestinian journalists who are covering this crisis in such tragic circumstances. I would like to share this strong message.”

“We are extremely grateful to journalists for their courage and commitment to freedom of expression in the face of difficult and dangerous circumstances,” he added, quoted in the same statement.

“Once again this year, this award recognizes the importance of teamwork to enable journalists around the world to continue their important work of informing and investigating,” he added, as quoted in the statement. It reminded me of that,” he added.

The UNESCO World Press Freedom Award was established in 1997 and is the only award given to journalists within the United Nations system. It is named after Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated on December 17, 1986 in front of the El Espectador newspaper office in Bogotá, Colombia.

Confirming the legitimacy of this year’s award, UNESCO said in a statement on Friday: “A Palestinian journalist covering Gaza has been selected as the recipient of the 2024 (Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Award). An international jury made up of media experts.

At least 97 journalists have been martyred in Gaza since the Israeli war began on October 7, including 92 Palestinian journalists, according to the New York-based International Committee to Protect Journalists. It is.

This comes as Israel has been waging a devastating war in the Gaza Strip since October 7, causing disaster and humanitarian damage and the martyrdom of tens of thousands of people, in addition to the comprehensive and large-scale destruction of infrastructure and buildings. The attack occurred while leaving behind many people injured, most of them children and women. crisis.

Despite the Security Council’s immediate cease-fire resolution and the International Court of Justice’s call for immediate steps to prevent “genocide” and improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, Israel continues to wage war. There is.

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