Attacks on journalists are an attack on press freedom and international human rights
SHAH ALAM - Attacking a journalist on the ground is an attack on press freedom and international human rights.
Author and human rights activist Puan Sri Norma Hashim commented that in a war, the first casualty is often the truth.
She was commenting on the death of Al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known figure in the Arab world.
"When you remove someone like her, maybe less news comes out on what the Israeli military is doing, shooting people on the streets, and arresting children, so these reporters provide a view point from the ground, and it is very important.
Over the past 22 years, Norma further added that Israeli soldiers have killed around 20 journalists who documented and reported news on the military raiding Palestinian homes, shooting people on the streets, and arresting children.
"So it’s not Shireen, but many more were killed when they tried to film things during the incident. I feel they (journalists) have been targeted, because they tried to get people off to make them afraid to go down to report.
"The journalist is basically the eyes and ears on the ground that we all need because we cannot be there," she said on the Sinar Daily Podcast: The Palestinian Diaries: Silencing the 'Voices of Palestine'.
Shireen was shot dead during an Israeli military operation in Jenin, in the northern West Bank.
The death of the Palestinian reporter, who was also a US citizen, caused an international outcry.
An Israeli military investigation concluded that the shooting could not be clearly attributed, but was "very likely" accidentally fired by an Israeli soldier.
Also present on the podcast were Asia Middle East Centre for Research and Dialogue Palestine Studies Circle coordinator Muath Seyam.
The podcast was hosted Athira Aminuddin.
Yesterday Malaysia celebrated National Journalists Day ( HAWANA 2023) with the theme ‘Free Media, Pillar of Democracy’ to re-emphasise the issue of media freedom for journalists in carrying out their duties.
The annual date of May 29 was gazetted as National Journalists’ Day in conjunction with the publication of the first newspaper in Malaysia, Utusan Melayu, on May 29, 1939, which became the first media platform in the country.