Home NewsAmerica Mansour Shouman: Palestinian Voices Silenced As Journalists Go Missing

Mansour Shouman: Palestinian Voices Silenced As Journalists Go Missing

by Zahid Jadwat

Mansour Shouman is one of many missing Palestinian journalists who have gone silent amidst the ongoing genocide in the Gaza Strip. [Picture: Yahoo News]


Mansour Shouman was on the frontline of history’s first genocide to ever be broadcast in real time. Until his voice fell silent. Freedom of speech is under fire as journalists are targeted in Apartheid Israel’s relentless military campaign.


The latest data from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) indicate at least 83 media personnel were among the more than 27 000 civilians killed since 7 October. The figure includes four Israeli and three Lebanese journalists.


“Journalists in Gaza face particularly  high  risks as they try to cover the conflict during the Israeli ground assault, including devastating Israeli airstrikes, disrupted communications, supply shortages, and extensive power outages,” read an alert issued by the Committee on Monday.


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Shouman goes missing

On Tuesday, The Independent reported the “chilling” last words of Palestinian-Canadian journalist Mansour Shouman before he went silent on 21 January. “I don’t have a lot of time,” he said, in footage sent to a colleague.


He had earlier voiced concerns with the UK media outlet that Israel was targeting Palestinian journalists in Gaza. Eyewitness accounts claim he was abducted by the occupation forces enroute from Khan Younis, a city in southern Gaza, to the Rafah crossing.


In a video posted to followers on his X account, his distraught mother said: “My heart is burning. I want to hear news about him. Please, if any of you know anything about his team, try to tell his team who are trying day and night to look for him”.


Mansour’s abduction, one of many committed by the occupation forces, sparked outrage in Canada and abroad. An online petition, signed by nearly 145 000 people, calls for the government of Israel to “immediately release Mansour Shouman and respect international laws regarding civilian protection during conflicts”.


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Vigils in SA

Meanwhile, journalists in South Africa have stood up to condemn the ongoing targeting of media personnel during the genocide in Gaza. Hundreds gathered in the cities of Cape Town, Johannesburg respectively over the weekend.


Speaking ahead of the countrywide vigils last week, Johannesburg organiser Deshnee Subramany told SABC News the murder was simply unacceptable.


“One of the things we have realised is this is unprecedented in that no one has seen a genocide live like this,” she noted, referring to the prolific usage of social media to document abuses and attacks by the occupation forces.


“Some of the reports we are getting is that journalists are hiding in hospitals, where they are constantly bombarded. They are staying where civilians are staying and we see that they are actually being affected directly.”


At the same time, she said, it was important that journalists worldwide maintained objectivity in their reportage while displaying solidarity. 


“We don’t want to be affiliated with any organisation or with any editorial organisation. We are here just to speak on behalf of journalists, for journalists, so that they also remember that they are not forgotten – not by us, at least,” she said.


The group of 200 that gathered at St George’s Cathedral – and their counterparts elsewhere in SA – were not the first to show solidarity for members of the press in Palestine.


Earlier in January, an American coalition of writers, editors, and other culture workers, known as Writers Against the War on Gaza (WAWOG), held vigils in the US cities of Los Angeles and New York.

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