Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Media Experts Stress Importance of Journalists Protection | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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CAIRO,(KUNA) — Media experts asserted the importance of &#34reporters” protection program&#34 during dangerous field coverage.

Financial Secretary of the Arab Journalists Union, Hatim Zakariya said in statements to KUNA, that the union approved the journalist”s compensation program, during wars and crises around the world.

He said, the program presents USD 20,000 in the case of death or permanent injury, USD 10,000 for partial injury, provided the journalist is a member of the union and has a journalist identification from his country.

He noted that no Arab journalist had benefited from this program yet, although the union had supported journalists and their unions in Iraq, Palestine, Mauritania and Algeria, in addition to the donations from the Chairman of the Kuwaiti journalists Society, Ahmed Behbehani.

On the other hand, Former Head of the Arab Journalists Union Kamil Zuhairi, in statements to KUNA, called for activating the International agreement for the protection of journalists, during wars and crises. In addition to providing a safety vest and special suit as not to be confused with security forces and other parties. Zuhairi said journalism is a dangerous and very risky career, especially after the recent incidents of assassinations and attacks on journalists.

He called for cooperation between local and international journalist organisations, to protect for journalists, pointing out that lack of such protection discourages journalists from traveling on assignments to flashpoints.

He also criticised international discrimination among journalists, as protection is only provided for UN journalists and those accompanying official forces.

Meanwhile, Arab Journalists Union General Secretary Salah Eldien Hafith condemned the kidnapping and murdering of journalists in Iraq, asserting the importance of coordination between the Arab Journalists Union and international organisations and unions, to condemn such activities.

He also called for granting journalists total freedom to do their job without any interference.

A recent report of the international organisation titled &#34Reporters Without Borders&#34 stated that Kuwait is one of the leading countries in the Middle East in terms of press freedoms.