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Newseum reverses decision to honour Gazan journalists

A snapshot of Newseum's Journalists Memorial list
A snapshot of Newseum's Journalists Memorial list

Newseum

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) expresses its disappointment and astonishment at the Newseum's reversal of its decision to honor Palestinian journalists Mohamed Salama and Hussam Al Koumi, who were killed by Israel's Occupation Forces during their coverage of the Israeli aggression on Gaza last December. The decision by Newseum was made after they came under pressure from the Israel lobby and Jewish institutions in the United States.

Newseum informed MADA of their decision to include Al Koumi and Salama on a memorial for fallen journalists and requested of MADA to provide them with the contact information of the journalists' families to inform them of the decision to honor the two journalists killed while exercising their profession.

The Newseum's Journalists Memorial includes "the names of 2246 journalists who have been killed over the past decades, with a special dedication to 84 journalists who were killed in the past year [including Al Koumi and Salama]. During the ceremony that took place on 13 May 2013 to honor the journalists whose names appear on the list, MADA was surprised to have seen that the names of both Palestinian journalists had been deleted.

It is important to note that international institutions working in the field of media freedoms including the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters without Borders, and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, have considered Al Koumi and Salama as journalists killed in the line of duty.

The news of the dishonoring of the Palestinian journalists by Newseum provoked many activists working on issues of freedom of expression and Palestine, who did not hesitate to condemn the decision and express their disappointment and anger via Newseum's facebook page.

MADA expresses once again its disappointment regarding this decision and Newseum's submission to Israeli pressure, when more than 20 Palestinian journalists have been killed by Israeli fire and paid with their lives for their dedication to covering the news since 2000.

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