In a significant development, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor’s office has announced that it is actively examining crimes against journalists as part of the ongoing investigation into the situation in Palestine. The prosecutor’s office emphasized the importance of supporting Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and affirmed that crimes against journalists fall under the purview of international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute.
In a statement, the ICC prosecutor’s office underscored the crucial role of journalists and the necessity to safeguard their rights. “Journalists are protected by international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute and must not under any circumstances be targeted in the exercise of their important mission,” the statement read.
Confirming this development, Christophe Deloire, the Secretary General of RSF, expressed the organization’s satisfaction with the ICC’s decision to include crimes against journalists in its investigation. Deloire described the situation in Gaza as a “massacre” of journalists, demanding a determined response from the ICC.
“We have found to date that at least 18 of them were killed in the course of, or because of, their duties as journalists, but only a thorough investigation will establish the immense extent of the war crimes against media professionals,” Deloire stated.
The RSF Secretary-General welcomed the announcement by the ICC prosecutor’s office and stressed the urgency of a swift investigation that leads to concrete action. “The announcement by the ICC prosecutor’s office to RSF is good news, which we welcome. We hope that its investigation moves forward quickly and leads to concrete action: it is necessary and long overdue,” Deloire remarked.
The RSF has been actively documenting and condemning attacks on journalists in conflict zones, particularly in Gaza. The organization has called for accountability for those responsible for the targeted killings of media professionals, emphasizing the need to uphold press freedom and protect journalists who play a vital role in reporting on conflicts and human rights abuses.
As the ICC’s investigation progresses, there is hope among advocates for press freedom that it will shed light on the extent of war crimes against journalists in Palestine and contribute to the prosecution of those responsible for these egregious violations of international law.
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