Nigerian Minister Condemns Israeli Actions in Palestine at Islamic Conference

The Nigerian Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has condemned the Israeli security forces for their “flagrant violations of press freedom and human rights” in the ongoing conflict in Palestine, where journalists have faced harassment, violence, and death.

Idris who spoke at the Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Conference of Information Ministers in Istanbul on Saturday, urged his counterparts to demand a conducive atmosphere for the media to carry out their duties and denounce any attempt to distort the facts and whitewash the humanitarian situation in Palestine.

He called for strategic communication, advocacy and collaboration to amplify the voices of journalists who document the human rights abuses and atrocities committed against the Palestinians.

“At the heart of our response must be a commitment to upholding the principles of press freedom, freedom of expression, and the right to information,” Idris said.

“These fundamental human rights enshrined in international law constitute essential pillars of democracy and good governance. We cannot allow them to be trampled upon by those who seek to silence dissent and control the narrative,” he explained.

Idris, who was represented by the Head of Mission of the Nigerian Embassy in Turkey, Ambassador Zayyad Abdul-Salam, called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and emphasized Nigeria’s position on a two-state solution to address the crisis in Palestine, ensuring the rights and sovereignty of both Palestinian and Israeli peoples are respected and upheld.

The conflict in Palestine has escalated since October, when Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza in response to attacks by Hamas fighters.

The Israeli military has been accused of deliberately targeting journalists and media outlets in Gaza, as well as blocking access and communication for reporters covering the situation. The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based advocacy group, says at least 88 journalists and media workers have been killed since October 7.

The Israeli government has denied any wrongdoing and said it is acting in self-defense and in accordance with international law. It has also accused Hamas of using civilians, including journalists, as human shields.

The Islamic Conference of Information Ministers, which comprises 57 member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, is a platform for cooperation and coordination on media and information issues among the Muslim world.

The conference, which was held in Istanbul, adopted a resolution condemning the Israeli aggression and expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people and journalists.

At least 29,410 Palestinians have been killed and 69,465 injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The revised death toll in Israel from the October 7 attacks stands at 1,139.

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