On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the World Broadcasting Unions (WBU) has issued a statement condemning the killings of journalists in Gaza and criticising Israel for not allowing international media to report from the region.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports that since the onset of the Israel’s war on Gaza on 7 October 2023, at least 97 journalists and media workers have been killed. Among these, 92 were Palestinian, three Lebanese, and two Israeli. Furthermore, 16 journalists have been injured, four are missing, and 25 have been arrested.

The CPJ highlighted additional targeting of Palestinian journalists through arrests, assaults, threats, cyberattacks, and censorship.

The WBU has called for the Israeli government to permit international journalists to enter Gaza to provide independent coverage. In the absence of such access, the role of Palestinian journalists who continue to report under extreme conditions becomes even more critical.

The WBU also took the opportunity to underscore the broader risks faced by journalists globally, including those stemming from war, the climate crisis, and other forms of civil strife. The organisation condemned any actions that suppress the truth, including attacks on journalists and disregard for media insignia.

On World Press Freedom Day, the WBU also encouraged reflection on the essential role of media freedom in supporting public welfare through accurate information, which is crucial in combating misinformation.

The statements concluded by honouring the journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty and commending all media workers who continue to seek out and report the truth under challenging circumstances.

Public Service Media (PSM), Island Broadcasting Company Pvt Ltd (VMedia) Maldives Broadcasting Commission, Sun Siyam Media (SS Media), and Island Communication & Entertainment Private Limited (ICE Network) are members of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU).