The International Commission to Support the Rights of the Palestinian People (Hashd)
International protection mechanisms for the rights of the Palestinian people
(Journalists as one of the groups covered by international humanitarian law)
This study was submitted to apply for the research competition announced by the International Commission to Support the Rights of the Palestinian People “Hashd”.
Rana Majid Hadib
All international conventions and treaties testify to the interest of the international legislator in this category, especially since journalistic work always involves risks. Attacks against journalists have increased in recent times, which urgently requires providing them with the required protection, which contributes to not impede the transmission of the truth.
This requires the study to research the concept of journalists, and the protection afforded to journalists, which differs in its general framework from other protections known in international humanitarian law, as it is general protection for them as civilians, and then develops into special protection for their different groups.
Therefore, this study aimed to identify the rights of journalists and the protection granted to them in international law, by following the descriptive analytical approach.
This study has reached a set of results, the most important of which is that the rules of international humanitarian law have added the status of a civilian to the journalist, despite the clear difference between them.
The journalist is treated in the same way as a civilian, despite the journalist’s job during armed conflicts, which compels them to be in dangerous conflict hotspots to obtain a scoop and cover the event firsthand, while the civilian’s main motive during armed conflicts is to stay away as much as possible from places of danger and clashes.
International protection is one of the primary requirements when it comes to the due respect for human rights, and protection from violations against them, especially when it comes to the collective rights of individuals. Intervention for protection has become a phenomenon that is not new in international relations. However, it became very prominent and distinctive, following the end of the Cold War and the emergence of the regime
The new international system dominated by the United States of America, the fall of the socialist system resulted in the outbreak of internal conflicts in many countries, which led to the spread of many grievances, wars, internal and regional conflicts, especially with regard to ethnic wars, which resulted in the emergence of many forms of interference States and international organizations, under the justification of intervention to protect these minorities, and in accordance with the requirements of the protection of human rights, the protection of minorities and the provision of humanitarian assistance.
The international protection of the occupied Palestinian people is an important demand, especially in light of the continuous violations against the Palestinian people. The United Nations, Riyad Mansour, the United Nations, and the Security Council provide “international protection” to the Palestinian people.
Unfortunately, international protection in the Palestinian case remained a fixed idea in the academic, human rights and political discourse, without clarity on the form of protection to be achieved and the mechanisms for achieving it, and without a Palestinian agreement on a vision for dealing with the international system to employ all opportunities to provide international protection as a temporary step on the road to ending the occupation.
The rights of journalists in Palestine are one of the rights that are constantly and continuously violated, as attacks against journalists have increased in recent times, which urgently requires legal protection for journalists in international humanitarian law, in order to ensure that the transfer of facts is not obstructed. The problem of the study individual journalists are definitely exposed to danger while doing their work, especially in times of war.
However, despite the protection granted to them, they are still exposed to dangers in places of conflict, especially in Palestine. Perhaps the many violations committed by the occupation authorities against humans and stones have become daily repetitive events due to the weak penalty for those crimes, and this is mainly due to the impact of international policy in protecting the real criminal.
The study Problem:
The Palestinian people are subjected to various types of violations and crimes, and they do not hesitate to target even protected persons who do not participate in any military operation, without paying attention to the practical necessity of protecting them. Therefore, this study attempts to identify the international protection of the rights of the Palestinian people, and the international mechanisms for protecting journalists as a model. Here lies the problem, that despite the existence of a huge amount of laws and agreements that prohibit attacking them, violations against them are still continuing, the last of which was during the preparation of this research by targeting the journalist Shireen Abu Aqila and the journalist Ghufran.
Therefore, the research questions are as follows:
1- What is the concept of international protection, what are the sources and the mechanisms it provides?
2- What are the means and tools of international protection?
3- What is the responsibility of the United Nations in international protection?
4- What are the international texts that provide protection for journalists in international humanitarian law, and how effective are they when applied?
Objectives of the study:
The issue of human rights has become one of the most important issues raised at the international and regional levels, and the interest in it has increased recently by the entire international community, which led to the development of the legal status of the individual in accordance with the provisions of public international law. Therefore, this study aimed to:
1- To know the international protection of the rights of the Palestinian people, especially the rights of journalists
2- Identifying the extent of the shortcomings in the application of international protection for journalists
The importance of studying:
The importance of the study lies in the light of the Palestinian demand for international protection, especially after the failure of the negotiation option, the repeated Israeli aggression on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the attendant organized violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and the inability of international mechanisms to put an end to these violations and punish the perpetrators. The importance of the study lies in recalling the suffering of journalists and exposing the crimes of the occupation.
The study relies on the descriptive analytical method, where we divided this study into two sections. In the first section, we dealt with what is international protection. Then we dealt with in the second section, international protection for journalists as a model for the violated rights of the Palestinian people.
The first topic: What is international protection?
The first requirement: the concept of international protection and its sources
The second requirement: the authority responsible for implementing protection
The second topic: Legal protection for journalists from the perspective of international humanitarian law
The first requirement: the concept and types of journalists in international law
The second requirement: international protection for media professionals in accordance with international law.
1- Abdel-Aty’s study (2020): This research paper aims to clarify the ambiguity about the concept of international protection, its forms and references, and follow the practical experiences of international protection and the most important lessons learned, in addition to identifying obstacles to international protection and ways to overcome them, and examining the possibilities of achieving them for the Palestinian people. The study recommended the Security Council to assume all its responsibilities in addressing the Israeli war crimes and the severe damage they caused to the civilian population, within the framework of the provisions of Chapters sixth and the Seventh of the United Nations Charter. It also called for the formation of an international protection force within the tasks of (peacekeeping forces) with broad powers to protect civilians in Palestine, provided that its work continues until the end of the occupation, and enabling the Palestinian people to self-determination.
2- Al-Anazi study (2021): The research hypothesis is based on the insufficiency of the means contained in the internal laws, whether constitutional or ordinary legislation, in achieving human rights protection. The study concluded that despite the importance of protection today, this did not prevent the violation of human rights in practice. During the establishment of a special court for human rights issues through a protocol attached to the charter that authorizes it to consider cases related to the rights established in international agreements.
3- Ibrahim’s injury study (2016):
The study focused on what is the legal and framework reality of the situation of journalists in international law. This study concluded that journalistic work during international or internal armed conflicts will always involve risks that journalists often accept, and the law cannot always protect them from the consequences of decisions they made of their own free will or from the dangers of They themselves wanted to be exposed to it, and the study recommended the need for the international community to establish a special international body linked to the International Organization of the United Nations. Among the tasks of this body:
1- Supervising the training of journalists to practice their profession during armed conflicts, raising their awareness and informing them of the seriousness of these conflicts to their lives
2- Explanation and clarification of the provisions of the international humanitarian law conventions that apply during armed conflicts so that the journalist can practice his profession with legal awareness
3- Assigning this body to initiate cases before the international judiciary in its capacity as a representative of journalists against the perpetrators of violations.
The first topic: What is international protection?
This topic is divided into two demands, which will address (the first requirement) the concept of international protection and its sources, through three branches, while the (second requirement) will address the competent authority to implement the responsibility to protect through three branches.
The first requirement: the concept of international protection and its sources
International protection is no less important than other topics of international law, and it does not fall short of others in raising doctrinal and legal disputes, to find out the truth of this term. These rights. Therefore, it is important to clarify what is meant by international protection, its types and mechanisms. To take note of this, we will address it in three sections. The first section will be devoted to the definition of international protection and its sources, the second section will be the pillars of international protection, and the third section will be the levels of international protection.
Section one: Defining international protection and its sources
First, the concept of protection
International jurists have different definitions of international protection of human rights, some of which give broad meanings and some narrow the meaning of international protection. It should be noted that international conventions and treaties related to protection do not specify it, but rather stipulate a set of procedures and obligations that fall on states, whether this obligation is legal or moral.
The concept of international protection was defined in one of the discussion panels organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1999, which was adopted by representatives of humanitarian organizations.
Balati: (The concept of international protection includes all activities aimed at ensuring full respect for these rights in accordance with the letter and spirit of the relevant laws).
It is noted on this definition, that it is not suitable for describing international protection only, but also the national protection that is borne by the state in the main. or international human rights. However, the definition did not indicate what these procedures are, nor did it give credentials to be an example against which to be measured
International protection is also defined as: (Basically the adoption of many general procedures implemented by the United Nations specialized agencies, or many general procedures adopted by special international protection agencies, which are responsible for monitoring the implementation of states’ obligations to respect human rights and agreements of specialized international agencies, and following up on the status of conventions established by the Charter of the United Nations), and the distinctive standards, general procedures and special protections implemented by the specialized agencies are implemented in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations or the conventions, or special treaties concluded by international agencies.
It is defined as: the general procedures practiced by the specialized organs of the United Nations, or what is practiced by the special international protection organs responsible for monitoring the implementation of states’ obligations to respect human rights, which were established under the agreements of the specialized international agencies, and the agreements that follow the Charter of the United Nations.
It should be noted that the responsibility to protect is a principle approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005, against the background of the events of the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Congo, Somalia, Kosovo and others. its people, the international community must provide this protection with collective and decisive military action unless diplomatic means succeed.
Second: Sources of international protection:
It means the legal basis for international protection, and it is based on two main sources:
1- Global sources: They include two types of sources, namely:
International human rights law represented by the Charter of the United Nations and international declarations and conventions on human rights issued by the General Assembly and specialized agencies.
International humanitarian law, in its two branches, Geneva and The Hague, which aims to protect combatants who are no longer fighting, civilians and civilian objects, and to place restrictions on the conduct of combatants, their war plans, and the type of weapons used, whether in the event of armed conflict or total or partial occupation.
2- Regional sources: These include regional human rights conventions, examples of which are: the European Convention on Human Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, the African Convention on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the Arab Charter on Human Rights.
Section Two: The Pillars of International Protection
The responsibility to protect (commonly referred to as “RtoP”) rests on three equal pillars: the responsibility of each state to protect its population (pillar 1); the international community’s responsibility to assist states in protecting their population (pillar 2); and the international community’s responsibility to protect when a state fails clearly in protecting its inhabitants (the third pillar).
Pillar One: The State’s Responsibility to Protect Its Population
The responsibility of the state to protect is synonymous with the principle of sovereignty, as it stems from the positive idea that considers sovereignty as a responsibility. In his report, the protection of the population is the foundational feature of sovereignty and statehood in the 21st century. Heads of state and government emphasized that the international community can, in the best cases, only play a complementary role. Ban Ki-moon emphasized that the responsibility for protection rests with the state in the first place, because prevention begins in the national territory, given the possibility of excluding the necessity of future intervention. The state also bears the responsibility to protect the population from the crimes of genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity or any incitement to commit them.
The state can also coordinate prevention and monitoring operations with the United Nations Human Rights Council and join international conventions and organizations, including the Rome Statute founding the International Criminal Court, as well as request assistance from the international community to enable it to carry out protection.
In the Palestinian case, facts demonstrate the inability of Palestine, as a state under occupation, to protect its people from the oppression and crimes of respect.
The second pillar: The responsibility of the international community to help states protect their populations
Paragraph 138 of the 2005 Summit Outcome Document stresses the importance of society by encouraging and assisting states to assume the responsibility to protect. In this case, if a state is not able to protect its citizens on its own, it has the right to seek international protection from the international community individually or through regional organizations Or the United Nations or civil society organizations, to protect their citizens, by taking measures of persuasion, either by secret or public persuasion, to seek peaceful reconciliation and to encourage programs that seek to protect the population from crimes, violations of the responsibility to protect and in the event that preventive measures fail to Conflict resolution, or the failure of a state to resolve a conflict, requires a response and response in a timely and decisive manner, using Chapters six and seven of the Charter of the United Nations.
Pillar Three: The international community’s responsibility to protect, when the state clearly fails to protect its population
In the event of failure to meet the requirements of protection, an application for international protection is resorted to. The principle of the international responsibility to protect requires a response to the request and intervention in a timely and decisive manner, using Chapters six and seven of the Charter of the United Nations.
Section Three: Levels of the International Protection Responsibility
First : the responsibility to prevent: This level included the topic of addressing the direct causes of internal conflicts and other man-made crises, which bring danger to peoples, so that the committee stressed that the responsibility for prevention is no longer a purely national affair, but rather has become a duty on the shoulders of the entire international community. .
There are four measures, some of which are internal, which states take to protect their people, and others of an international nature, which are political, economic, legal and military measures.
Secondly, the responsibility to respond
If the ultimate purpose of the responsibility to protect involves the responsibility to react to situations in which humanity is in urgent need of protection, after preventive measures fail to settle and contain the conflict, as well as when the state is unable or unwilling to remedy the situation, then the matter is called for. , Taking interventionist measures by members of the international community, and these measures include resorting to the International Criminal Court, as an important and unprecedented step in consolidating the foundations of a new and permanent legal system for the international criminal responsibility of individuals for their violations of the rules of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
Third, the responsibility to rebuild
It means providing integrated assistance – after military intervention – with regard to reconstruction and good management, and the creation of appropriate conditions for the reconstruction of public order by international officials working in partnership with local authorities with the aim of transferring the authority to rebuild to the local authorities. Accordingly, thinking about military intervention highlights the importance of developing a post-intervention strategy with the aim of preventing the occurrence of conflicts and humanitarian emergencies, or increasing their intensity, spread or survival. Military.
The second requirement: the authority responsible for implementing the responsibility to protect
It is required before starting any intervention, in order to protect civilians from serious violations of their rights. That the intervening countries obtain a prior authorization request from a more appropriate body, namely the first of the Security Council, based on its powers stipulated in Article 39 of the Charter of the United Nations. However, if the Security Council refuses, alternative means must be resorted to.
Section One: Conditions for activating the responsibility to protect
To ensure the proper implementation of the principle of the responsibility to protect, two basic conditions must be adhered to, namely the presence of serious human rights violations, and the state’s inability or unwillingness to protect.
First: the existence of serious human rights violations represented in four crimes:
1- The crime of genocide
2- war crimes
3- Crimes against humanity
4- Ethnic cleansing crimes
Secondly, the state’s inability or unwillingness to protect
It is a condition that the international community, within the United Nations, assumes the responsibility to protect. After the occurrence of international crimes exclusively mentioned above, and their formation of systematic and widespread violations of human rights. The state’s primary responsibility remains to achieve protection and prevent the occurrence of mass atrocities in all its forms. However, with the state’s inability to fulfill the requirements of its responsibility to protect, or its unwillingness to provide that protection, despite its ability to do so, the responsibility to provide adequate and adequate protection shifts to the international community.
Section Two: The responsibility of the United Nations to protect
First, the Security Council as the primary organ to implement the responsibility to protect
It is well known that permission to use armed force cannot be permitted by any body other than the UN Security Council, according to the provisions of Chapter VII of the Charter, especially Articles 39, 41 and 42, where the Security Council decides whether there has been a threat to international peace and security or a breach of them or The occurrence of a case of aggression. It presents this in its recommendations, or decides what measures must be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42 to maintain international peace and security.
The Security Council is the executive authority in the United Nations, and its decisions are binding on the member states of the General Assembly. Among the most important powers and competencies entrusted to him is the protection of international peace and security. In light of the international agreement that gross violations of human rights, whether stipulated in international humanitarian law or international human rights law, represent a threat to peace and security, the Council is now able to intervene to impose protection through the use of peaceful tools stipulated in Chapter VI of the Charter, or military methods provided for them in Chapter VII.
It is not required that the council has exhausted the recourse to temporary or non-military measures in order to resort to the use of military measures. The council may resort, according to the requirements of each case, to these measures directly and without a request from the aggressed state or other parties to the conflict. This is in accordance with its authority to maintain international peace and security, as stipulated in Article 42 of the Charter, and this is done through the issuance of an explicit decision by the Council in accordance with the procedures specified in the Charter, authorizing the use of armed force against the aggressor state, unless the veto is used or not completed. Quorum required to vote.
Among the most important defects of this mechanism, is the political use of interference at the expense of justice, and the use of the permanent members of the Council of the veto system against any decisions that include measures against it or its allies, which resulted in the paralysis of the protection system, or its selective application.
Experiences related to the Palestinian situation indicate that it is difficult to activate this mechanism and achieve the desired results, especially in light of the use of the veto by the United States of America, to thwart any protectionist interventions for the Palestinian people against the crimes and violations of the occupation of human rights.
Second, the General Assembly
In the event that the Security Council was unable to assume the responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, by not taking the necessary measures to save civilians from serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, the Committee on Intervention and State Sovereignty suggested resorting to the General Assembly, where the General Assembly’s Charter granted the authority to maintain peace and security In cooperation with the Security Council, Article 11 of the Charter stipulates that the General Assembly has the power to discuss and issue recommendations related to the maintenance of international peace and security. The reason for issuing this resolution, which was shown in the wake of the United Nations intervention in Korea on June 27, 1950, was the inability of the Security Council to pass resolutions that faced some of the severe problems that faced the United Nations, due to the use of the veto by the major powers, or the lack of The unanimity of its permanent members, to exercise its primary responsibilities in maintaining international peace and security, in the case where it appears that there is a threat to the peace, a breach of it, or an act of aggression.
The General Assembly may be called in an extraordinary session, within twenty-four hours, to consider the implementation of the resolution if the Secretary-General of the United Nations receives a request to that effect from the Security Council with the approval of 7 of its members or with the approval of a majority of its members.
Section Three: International Protection Means
The means of protection that the United Nations resort to varies, in different cases, so the measures that can be taken by the international community, include a wide range of diplomatic, coercive and military measures, in addition to agreeing and allowing international intervention through the use of force when peaceful and coercive measures fail to end the crisis. The most important of these means and tools are:
1- Peaceful measures:
The Charter of the Security Council empowered the Security Council to take peaceful measures to maintain international peace and security, and the Charter did not specify the legitimate measures to be taken in detail, and therefore the authority of the Council in its estimation is absolute. Recommends the release of detainees on both sides, ordering a cease-fire, cessation of hostilities, or calling for the conclusion of armistice agreements, refraining from providing the parties with weapons and military equipment, refraining from taking any action that would harm the sovereignty, independence, or territorial integrity of any country, and sending commissions of inquiry Facts: dispatch of UN international forces to separate the two parties, dispatch of a UN observer mission to monitor the conduct of both parties, separation of conflicting forces, request of regional organizations or a neighboring country for assistance in settling the conflict, suspension of economic assistance, and any temporary measures seen by the Security Council. Within the framework of its political and diplomatic relations, the State of Palestine can exploit these mechanisms.
2- Non-military coercive measures:-
It includes a referral to the International Criminal Court, and sanctions of all kinds, economic, political, diplomatic, etc., and was stipulated in Article 41 of the Charter, which left “the Security Council to decide what measures should be taken that do not require the use of armed forces to implement its decisions, and all Member States have implemented their implementation, and this is indicated by Article 103 of the Charter, which states: “If the obligations to which the members of the United Nations are bound, in accordance with the provisions of this Charter, conflict with any other international obligation to which they are bound, then the lesson is their obligations arising from this Charter.” Which the Security Council used, is the economic embargo against countries it accuses of threatening international peace and security, including the embargo imposed on Iraq, pursuant to Resolution 687/1991, the embargo against Iran since 2008, as well as Security Council Resolution No. 748 of 1992 related to the conflict The Libyan-with Europe and America, where the Security Council obligated the member states of the United Nations, to cut off all air contacts with Libya, ban its supply of weapons and reduce the level of its diplomatic and consular representation with Libya, here the State of Palestine can seek The Security Council will ask the Security Council to take effective steps to ensure that the occupying power responds to the resolutions of international legitimacy to stop its gross violations of the rights of the Palestinians.
3- Military measures:
It is used when the previous measures fail, the Security Council may take the military measures explained in Article 42 of the Charter, which stipulates: “If the Security Council considers that the measures provided for in Article 41 are not sufficient or have been proven to have been inadequate, it may take by way of air and sea forces. and ground actions as necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security, or to authorize Member States to use force to protect civilians, under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations to take “all necessary measures” or all necessary means by: imposing an exclusion zone airspace, peacekeeping operations, the establishment of a buffer zone, or the establishment of a humanitarian safe zone.
The second topic: Legal protection for journalists from the perspective of international humanitarian law
The emphasis on the unlawful nature of attacks against journalists and the media derives from the protection that international humanitarian law affords to civilians and civilian objects, and from the fact that the media, even the propaganda media, can only exceptionally be considered a military target. Civilian journalists tasked with covering armed conflict must be respected and protected under international humanitarian law, from any form of deliberate attack. International humanitarian law grants civilian journalists the same protection as civilians, provided that they do not take a direct part in the hostilities.
Through this topic, we will address the concept and types of journalists in international law as a first requirement, then international protection for media professionals in accordance with international law as a second requirement.
The first requirement: Journalists in international law
Respecting or violating international humanitarian law is an important part of contemporary armed conflicts. Violations of laws are often the source of humanitarian and political crises. When combatants break the laws, it can affect the success of their mission. It is increasingly likely that alleged war criminals will be prosecuted and it is important to understand the legal basis for these trials when covered in the media. As understanding it will lead to better quality media coverage. During media coverage, journalists may be exposed to many risks and violations
Through this requirement, we will address the concept of the journalist in international law, its types, and the most prominent violations to which he is exposed while carrying out their duties.
Section one: the concept of the journalist in international law
The international conventions concerned with the protection of journalists did not specify a definition of a journalist, either in the regulations on the laws and customs of land wars annexed to the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, which also did not address the definition of newspaper reporters who accompany the armed forces stipulated in Article 13. We also find that Article 81 From the Geneva Convention of 1929, it has provided for the press reporter, without giving any definition of it like the two previous conventions. As for the Third Geneva Convention, of 1949, regarding the treatment of prisoners, it stipulates in Article 4/A4 that war correspondents accompany the armed forces without being part of them, without giving a definition to the journalist, as is the case with Article 79 of Additional Protocol I of 1977, Which also did not include a statement of the concept of journalists.
It should be noted that the first definition of a journalist or a war correspondent was included in Article 2/A of the draft United Nations Convention for the Protection of Journalists who carry out dangerous missions in areas of armed conflict and which were not destined to see the light of day; Where it stated, “Every reporter, journalistic informant, television cameraman, photographer and their technical assistants in the cinema, radio and television who practice the aforementioned activity normally as their primary profession. Commenting on it or using it for the purpose of publishing it in the press, radio, on screen, or their assistants. Some believe that a war correspondent is what international law defines as “every specialized journalist who is present in the theater of operations with authorization and protection from the armed forces of one of the warring parties, and his task is to inform about relevant events during the occurrence of hostilities.
Section Two: Types of Journalists in Conflict Zones
Three classes of journalists work during armed conflicts, with different materials and scope of protection.
- War correspondent attached to the armed forces:
He is a civilian journalist who accompanies the units without being part of them, based on a permit from the units he accompanies and follows the instructions of these forces, and this type enjoys the status of a prisoner of war if he is arrested, and this is in accordance with Article 13 of the 1907 Hague Conventions and Article 81 of the Geneva Convention of 1929 and Article 4/A4 of the Second Geneva Convention of 1949 and Paragraph 2 of Article 79 of Additional Protocol I of 1979. We note in this regard that the guidelines of the British Ministry of Defense regarding the media guarantee journalists attached to the armed forces the status of prisoners of war if they are captured . Contrary to the French military authorities, which consider that this category is like the independents, they have no right except to the status of civilians, as stipulated in Article 79 of Protocol I.
- Freelance journalist:
He is every journalist who travels independently of military units, not part of them, and is considered a civilian in accordance with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, Additional Protocol I and Second Protocol of 1977 on non-international conflicts and UN Security Council Resolution No. 1738 of 2006.
- Military journalist:
He is a soldier who works in the field of media activity for the army, and what applies to members of the armed forces applies to him. He does not enjoy any special immunity, although the international legislator did not neglect to address the rules for protecting journalists in international conflicts, but he did not mention journalists in the treaties that apply to non-international armed conflicts. However, journalists in these cases are considered civilians or persons who do not participate directly or are competent. from participating in hostilities, and shall apply to them and their crew all the protections applicable to civilians.
Section 3: Types of violations against journalists
The presence of journalists in international and non-international armed conflicts makes them vulnerable to serious real risks that may sometimes reach the point of ending their lives. The violations that journalists are exposed to by the warring parties are divided between material and moral violations as follows:
1- Physical violations
It means those violations that occur by the perpetrators directly on the body, as they either result in the end of life, or a violation of the sanctity of the body, or a restriction or deprivation of freedom. Most of what journalists are exposed to during the exercise of their duties in areas of armed conflict are violations that take their lives, and the main reason for journalists to be subjected to this type of violations is their direct presence in conflict areas to cover events and transmit them through the media, which is often the reason for their deliberate targeting, despite Although these journalists wear a jacket indicating their mission and carry special cards for journalists, their cars have special signs and their tools as well, but they are constantly exposed to violations and accidents, including the assassination of the Palestinian journalist and Al-Jazeera correspondent Sherine Abu Aqleh
Among the violations that journalists are subjected to, which differ from the violations against civilians in areas of armed conflict, are violations that affect the sanctity of the body and human dignity. Among the most important forms of these violations committed against journalists, which affect the sanctity of the body, are beatings, deliberate wounding, torture, and rape, all of which fall under the inhuman treatment that may be practiced against them while performing their jobs.
2- Moral violations:
These are actions practiced by warring groups, aiming to spread terror in the hearts of journalists or insult them to pressure them in order to direct them towards conveying a specific idea that fits the policy of some conflicting parties or depriving them of the tools through which they can practice their work. Among the most important forms of moral violations that journalists are exposed to, is the threat and confiscation of equipment used in covering events, as the threat is considered one of the most common moral violations, and includes the threat to commit all forms of physical violations, such as killing, assassination, wounding, beating, torture and rape, as well as everything related to Effectively affecting human freedom, such as imprisonment, arrest, kidnapping, expulsion, and threats to prevent coverage. The aim of all this is to compel the journalist to refrain from carrying out his journalistic duty, or to force him to cover events that serve the orientations of the party exercising the coercion. The confiscation of the journalist’s equipment that he uses to cover the events, and this behavior makes the journalist’s task difficult and difficult, although it does not directly affect the journalist and affects him like the case of material violations, but it leaves an impact on the journalist’s psyche and negatively affects the reports and investigations that this journalist will prepare, which often Which leads to depriving him of covering the events around him, and consequently depriving the viewer and society in general from following the events taking place in their true abstract form.
The second requirement: international protection for media professionals in accordance with international law
The basic principle in matters is that they are permissible unless a banker directs them towards criminalization, and based on this rule, a person in any work he does, proceeds from the fact that it is permissible for him, unless it is stipulated that it be criminalized and prohibited. Workers in the field of press and media derive the legitimacy of their work through what has been established by the principles and provisions of the law that legitimize the freedom of media professionals for them, based on the nature of their work and based on a solid foundation, which is freedom of opinion and expression.
Section one: Protecting journalists in accordance with international conventions
A number of international conventions and treaties dealt with how to protect journalists in the military sectors without being part of them. Among the most important of these agreements are:
First: The Hague Convention of 1907
The 1907 Hague Convention stipulated that although journalists are members of the military, they are not journalists and, therefore, if captured, they should be treated as prisoners of war. For the correspondents who accompany the army in accordance with the law become part of these military organisations, regardless of whether they see themselves as such or not.
Second: The Geneva Convention of 1929
The Convention relating to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, which emanated from the Geneva Convention of 1929, stipulates in Article 81 of Section VII that persons who accompany the armed forces without being directly subordinate to them, such as reporters, informants, contractors, or contractors who fall into the hands of the enemy. The enemy considers it appropriate to detain them, and they are entitled to be treated as prisoners of war, provided that they are in possession of a permit from the military authorities they were accompanying.
The content of this article was not far from the content of Article 13 of the 1907 Hague Convention; As the enemy has the right to choose between arresting journalists or not and classifying them as prisoners of war, then it returns and stipulates that the journalists must prove their identity through a statement specifying their capacity as war correspondents accompanying military units without being part of them, as this statement is a presumption of their identity.
Third: The Third Geneva Convention of 1949
The agreement confirmed that journalists attached to the armed forces without being part of it are in the status of prisoner of war, provided that they obtain a permit from the armed forces accompanying them. However, this condition was tolerated by the legislators, given the possibility of journalists losing this card or permit during the war, but the legislator kept the right to keep them under the protection of the enemy or the military forces that arrested the journalists and did not find any document proving their status. The Third Geneva Convention until a decision is issued by the competent court regarding them, in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 5 of the last convention.
Fourth: Protecting journalists based on the resolutions of the General Assembly:
Among the most important resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly related to the protection of journalists in hotbeds of armed conflict:
Inviting the Secretary-General of the United Nations to consult with the International Committee of the Red Cross and relevant international organizations to take the necessary steps to ensure the best application of the rules of international humanitarian law in armed conflicts
Emphasizing the addition of appropriate international humanitarian conventions to ensure the protection of civilians, captives and killers in all armed conflicts, and emphasizing a basic principle in distinguishing between combatants and those not involved in hostilities.
The leading role of journalists in obtaining information related to armed conflicts to enlighten nations and peoples;
The resolution confirms that the articles stipulated in the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 do not cover some types of journalists working in areas of armed conflict and assigned to dangerous tasks inconsistent with their current work requirements.
Expressing deep concern for the grave dangers faced by reporters assigned to dangerous professional assignments in areas of armed conflict
Expressing deep regret that some reporters have paid their lives out of their conscience to do their job
Calling for the respect and application of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 to the extent applicable, especially to war correspondents accompanying the armed forces without being part of them, as stipulated in Article 13 of the resolution
Section Two: Protection of Journalists in International Humanitarian Law
When researching the texts that included protection for journalists assigned to dangerous tasks during armed conflicts and wars, which is the basis for the protection of journalists during armed conflicts and the maximum reach of international law, it is considered that they did not discuss the legality of journalistic work in wartime, or the basis for which Rather, all documents related to international humanitarian law (the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the first and second additional annexes 1977) have been devoid of a statement of this, because the act that journalists undertake to cover events and keep pace with developments is considered legitimate.
International humanitarian law stipulates that civilian journalists performing their duties in armed conflict must be respected and protected from every form of deliberate attack. International humanitarian law provides civilian journalists with the same protection as civilians as long as they are not taking a direct part in hostilities.
Article 79 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 states:
1- Journalists who undertake dangerous professional assignments in areas of armed conflict are considered civilians
2 They shall be protected as such under the provisions of the Conventions and this Protocol, provided that he does not take any action which would prejudice their status as civilian persons.
The study of the International Committee of the Red Cross on the customary rules of international humanitarian law in (2005) in its rule 34 of Chapter X indicates that civilian journalists working on professional assignments in areas of armed conflict must be respected and protected as long as they do not take a direct effort in hostilities and based practices States refer to this principle as a rule of customary international law applicable in both international and non-international armed conflicts.
In all armed conflicts, international humanitarian law expressly prohibits the following acts against persons who are not taking an active part in hostilities or are no longer able to take part in them: any violence against life and persons, in particular murder in all its forms, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture, the taking of hostages, outrages upon dignity Personal, especially humiliating and degrading treatment, issuing penalties and carrying out executions without a previous ruling issued by a legally constituted court that guarantees all judicial guarantees recognized as necessary by civilized peoples.
Section Three: Exceptions to Protection
Journalists enjoy the protection provided by international humanitarian law, in accordance with the second paragraph of Article 67 and the third paragraph of Article 21 of Protocol I, and since the international legal protection for journalists and war correspondents has been formulated to suit the special nature of the profession of journalism, which requires confronting many risks that may expose them to violations material, amounting to murder, in order to impartially and honestly convey what is happening on the ground to the international community. According to the commentary on the third paragraph of Article 21 of Protocol I, a requirement for legal protection of journalists was mentioned, that the journalist should not participate “directly in hostilities,” meaning hostilities (that are acts of war that, by their nature or purpose, are likely to cause actual harm to personnel and equipment enemy armed forces). The journalist’s participation in propaganda cannot be considered direct participation, and the journalist loses his immunity only when he participates directly in the hostilities, and thus becomes a legitimate target, and when he stops doing so, he regains his right to protection from the effects of hostilities.
The journalist loses protection if he wears a uniform that resembles the military uniform or gets close to it, or is necessary and follows a military unit, as well as the presence of the journalist in areas that may be targeted and the law allows for this, but the First Geneva Protocol of 2111 required all warring parties to make an effort to prevent civilians, including them from being exposed Journalists are attacked during military operations. Among the cases in which international legal protection for journalists falls, is the case of necessity. Article 11 of the International Law Commission’s draft on international responsibility addresses the case of necessity and sets controls for it. It leads to the fact that the state of necessity is the only means to protect the state from a danger that threatens it, and its use leads to harming the essential interest of another state that has the right. .
Journalists receive the attention of international humanitarian law as civilians working in situations of international and non-international armed conflicts, and this law gives them the necessary protection to carry out their role in transmitting information about current events and regarding violations that may occur during those conflicts.
Although international law recorded a great breakthrough in international documents, the most important of which is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and the two international covenants on civil, political, economic and social rights of 1966, which were recognized for their clear role in protecting the right to media and through them those responsible for it from the category of journalists, however, despite that As a result of the fact that the work of journalists is fraught with danger, work should be done to ensure more compliance with the laws
From the foregoing, the researcher concludes with a set of results and recommendations, which are as follows:
The request for international protection represents a Palestinian right and entitlement that, if approved by the United Nations, will contribute to the Palestinian struggle to end the Israeli occupation
There is a legal and humanitarian need and necessity for the Palestinian people to seek international protection from the crimes of the occupation in light of the persistence of the occupation in its crimes against the Palestinian people on the one hand, and the inability of the state of Palestine under occupation to protect its people on the other hand, which makes international protection for the Palestinian people an international duty and obligation. What contributes to strengthening and supporting this request is the State of Palestine’s accession to the membership of an observer in the United Nations and its accession to a number of international conventions and bodies.
The mechanisms of international protection are diverse and numerous, some of which are linked to the Security Council, some of them are linked to the General Assembly, and some are linked to international humanitarian law, this is in addition to international protection at the regional level, which requires searching for the best and easiest options available to the Palestinian people within the framework of a multi-track national strategy that works in an integrated manner. To ensure that all options are employed in favor of protecting the rights of the Palestinian people
The rules of international humanitarian law have conferred the status of a civilian on a journalist, despite the obvious difference between them. He is treated in the same way as a civilian, despite the journalist’s job during armed conflicts, which forces them to be in dangerous conflict hotspots in order to obtain a scoop and coverage. The event is current, while the civilian his main motive during armed conflicts is to stay away as much as possible from places of danger and clashes
1- Calling on the Security Council to assume all its responsibilities in confronting the Israeli war crimes and the huge damage they caused to the civilian population, within the framework of the provisions of Chapters VI and VII of the Charter of the United Nations. In the event that the Council fails to do so, which is expected, the Palestinians must test the formula “United for Peace” by calling on the United Nations General Assembly to assume its legal responsibilities towards the Palestinian people based on its Resolution No. 377 of 1950, according to which it has the right to intervene in issues affecting international peace and security As long as I sensed a clear failure and failure of the Security Council to fulfill its legal obligations, and this actually happened in the Palestinian case, in addition to seriously considering Israel’s membership in the United Nations and contingent upon its commitment to General Assembly Resolution No. 273 of 1949, which conditioned its membership on its commitment to implement General Assembly Resolutions No. 181 and 194.
2- Calling upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention and under Article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, according to which these States bear a special responsibility to abide by them and obligate others to them at every time and place, to resume their meeting to discuss taking appropriate measures to ensure respect and application of the provisions of the Convention within occupied Palestinian territories.
3- We believe that it is important for the international community, represented by the United Nations General Assembly, to conduct a comprehensive review of the provisions of international humanitarian law and to approve a draft convention for the protection of journalists and press headquarters called (the Fifth Geneva Convention for the Protection of Journalists and Press Headquarters) or to approve a third draft protocol annexed to the four Geneva Conventions The additional protocol is called
4- Building and developing a Palestinian strategy to invest and activate all international mechanisms in protection and to seek the assistance of international experts in the field of public international law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international criminal law, and to open more than one battle using various mechanisms within one track.
5- The need for the international community to establish a special international body linked to the International Organization of the United Nations, and one of the tasks of this body is to supervise the training of journalists to practice their profession during armed conflicts, to raise their awareness and inform them about the danger of these conflicts to their lives.
6- We believe it is important to publish and strengthen the existing legal protection for journalists by conducting a comprehensive review of the provisions of international humanitarian law and approving a draft convention for the protection of journalists and press headquarters called (the Fifth Geneva Convention for the Protection of Journalists and Press Headquarters) or approving a third draft protocol attached to the four Geneva Conventions called the Additional Protocol
First / books
Dr.. Salah Abdel-Aty, a study entitled: International Protection between Theory and the Prospects of Verification in the Palestinian Case
Dr.. Alaa Abdul-Hassan Al-Anzi – The concept of international protection of human rights and the obstacles they face, University of Babylon, College of Law.
Muhammad Safi Youssef, International Protection for the Forcibly Displaced Within their Countries, Arab Renaissance House, Cairo 2004.
Khairy Ahmed Al-Kabbash, Criminal Protection of Human Rights, A Comparative Study in the Light of the Provisions of Islamic Sharia, Constitutional Principles and International Conventions, 1st Edition, Manshet Al-Maaref, Alexandria, 2002.
Ajou Yasmina, The Principle of the Responsible for Protection during Armed Conflicts, Master’s Thesis, Abdul Rahman Mira University, Faculty of Law and Political Science, 2014-2015
Jamil Hussein Al-Daman: International responsibility for the violation of the protection of journalists and the media during armed conflicts in light of the provisions of international law, MA in International Law, House of Legal Books, Shatat Publishing and Software House, Egypt-UAE, 2012 edition.
Saja Abdel Sattar, Master’s Thesis, Protection of Journalists in International Humanitarian Law, Middle East University, Faculty of Law, 2017,
Dr.. Sami Abdel Aal, Legal Protection for Journalists in the Perspective of International Humanitarian Law, Tanta University, Faculty of Law, Fourth Scientific Conference, 2017
Muhammad Al-Saeed Al-Daqqaq, United Nations and Regional Organizations, Dar Al-Maaref, Alexandria, undated.
Secondly, laws and treaties
Geneva Convention of 1929
Geneva Convention of 1949
The Hague Convention 1907
First Additional Protocol of 1977
Draft United Nations Convention for the Protection of Journalists
Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948
2005 Summit Outcome Document
Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949
Charter of the United Nations
Security Council Resolution 748 of 1992
Third / magazines
Aisha Salmi, International Responsibility to Protect and Double Standards. Libya as a Model, Volume 3, Issue 2 (2019), p. 33.
Dr. Lidia Turki, Journal of Global Politics, Issue 2, PhD research, The responsibility of international protection as a new cover for the principle of humanitarian intervention, Mouloud Maamari University
Al-Zahra Brahimi, The Use of Armed Force to Protect Civilians within the Responsibility to Protect, Academic Journal of Legal Research, Journal 13, No.1.-
Munir Zahran, The United Nations and the Containment of Ethnic Conflicts, Journal of International Politics, Al-Ahram Foundation, Vol. (40), p. (161), Cairo, July, 2005.
Boutros Ghali, The United Nations and the Containment of Ethnic Conflicts, Journal of International Politics, Al-Ahram Foundation, p. (115), p. (30), Cairo, January, 1994.
Lina Al-Smadi, an article entitled: The concept of international protection of human rights and the obstacles they face, June 24, 2021, available via the website: https://2u.pw/ntqED, accessed on May 22, 2022.
Secretary-General urges action to make the tool a reality, UN News website, available at: https://news.un.org/ar/story/2012/01/153012
Ivan Simonovic, Responsibility to Protect, available at: https://www.un.org/ar/chronicle/article/20075
The Arab Democratic Center, an article entitled: Rules for protecting journalists in light of the provisions of international law, June 19, 2017, available at: https://democraticac.de/?p=47227