Thursday, 2 December 2010


Not many of our affiliates have a special structure for photographers but the NUJ in the UK has a London photographers’ branch. I attended their monthly meeting a couple of nights ago to make a plea on behalf of their Palestinian colleagues who are now victims of frequent, almost routine, attacks at the hands of Israeli soldiers and settlers. Whenever Palestinian photographers and camera crews line up to record peaceful demonstrations or confrontations they are intentionally targeted by the Israeli army, hit by stun grenades and rubber bullets, beaten up and humiliated (see detailed accounts at

Years of protest, pleading and negotiation by the IFJ with the Israeli authorities fell on deaf ears. Now the IFJ is determined to put a stop to the attacks against photographers, to ensure the freedom of movement of Palestinian journalists and to have its press card recognised by the Israeli authorities. NUJ London photographers pledged to join the campaign in support of their Palestinian colleagues.

The NUJ photographers also welcomed the decision by the IFJ to adopt “Journalism, and War on Terrorism” as a theme at the next World Press Freedom day in May 2011 which will coincide with the 10th anniversary of what has become to be known as war against terror. Photographers in the UK have been at the receiving end of the counter-terror legislation. Their union has been waging a fight against the misuse of these laws which have criminalised photographers.

Pictures Jess Hurd: 'Im a Photographer Not a Terrorist' protest bringing together photographers in defence of press freedom and civil liberties.

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