International Criminal Court to probe crime against journalists in Gaza

Tel Aviv, Jan 10 (IANS): International non-profit, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has said that it received assurances from the a prosecutor's office at the International Criminal Court (ICC) that it will probe crimes and atrocities against journalists in Gaza amid the raging Israel-Hamas war.

In a statement on Tuesday, the RSF said that "the office of prosecutor Karim Khan has assured that crimes against journalists are included in its investigation".

It is to be noted that Khan is already investigating the atrocities that occurred after Hamas launched its unprecedented attack on southern Israel on October 7, 2023.

With the killing of independent videographer journalist working for Agence France Presse (AFP) Moustafa Thuraya and Al Jazeera journalist Hamza Wael Dahdouh, the total number of journalists killed in the past three months has now increased to at least 79, the Paris-based media rights group said.

Since the day of the Hamas assault, ""Khan had never spoken publicly about the fate of journalists. In a message sent to RSF on January 5. 2024, his office stated for the first time that crimes against journalists were included in its investigation", the RSF said in its statement.

In its statement, the ICC prosecutor's office assures that "crimes against journalists are being examined by the prosecutor's office, among other potential crimes, as part of the ongoing investigation into the situation in Palestine, and RSF's objectives and actions must be supported and are of crucial importance in Gaza and elsewhere".

"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."

Confirming the development, Christophe Deloire --Secretary General of RSF -- said that the "massacre" of journalists in Gaza "demands 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.

"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 was quoted as saying in the statement.




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Title: International Criminal Court to probe crime against journalists in Gaza

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