Geneva – Palestinian-Jordanian journalist Farah Maraqa has called on the United Nation's Human Rights Council to make all possible efforts to stop the arbitrary measures against Arab journalists in the German media and to protect the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
In a speech at HRC's 49th session, delivered on behalf of Euro-Med Monitor, Maraqa said that she and six of her Arab colleagues were expelled from Deutsche Welle (an official German media network) last February after receiving "false accusations of antisemitism carried out by a public media smear campaign."
She said that the smear campaign, vetted and hired by Deutsche Welle itself and carried out by the German media, had no aim other than to tarnish the image of Arab journalists and stigmatize them with hate and anti-Semitism based on evidence that is marred with blatant manipulation of text and context.
Maraqa indicated that the investigation conducted by Deutsche Welle to seemingly expel her and her colleagues was biased. Apparently, the investigation aimed only to restore the public image of the German official outlet.
The journalist confirmed that Deutsche Welle issued a statement admitting that the expelled journalists had not committed any "violations" or acts that are considered antisemitic, however, the network decided to dismiss them without providing any evidence or realistic explanation.
Maraqa asked the HRC for support to help her and her fellow Arab journalists in the German media, as she said: "This is a disgrace in the face of human rights efforts at the heart of Europe happening right now, and I am respectfully asking for your attention and help in stopping this trend for the sake of free press and free speech in itself as much as the Palestinian and Arab voices discriminated, silenced, and erased."
Last February, Euro-Med Monitor issued a report which said that Deutsche Welle's independent investigation into allegations of antisemitism is biased, flawed, and dangerous, and stressed that these measures would only open the door wide for an escalation of the purge campaign against Arabs in the German media.
The report provided a legal review and examination of the committee's report, found several problems that undermined its findings, and concluded that the report's framework, analysis, and recommendations contain numerous evidence of bias in favor of Israel against the Palestinians.
My name is Farah Maraqa, I am a Palestinian-Jordanian journalist working in Germany
I and 6 of my Arab colleagues at the German tax-funded media outlet "Deutsche Welle" have been terminated from our positions since February 7 under the false accusations of antisemitism carried out by a public media smear campaign. In the words of the Euro-Med monitor – an anti-Arab purge.
The campaign against us consisted of:
- First, a smear campaign by German press with the sole purpose of publicly defaming and accusing Arab journalists, vetted and hired by Deutsche Welle itself, as hateful and antisemitic. Presented proof – blatant manipulation of text and context and the bad faith act of merging the criticism of Israeli politics and state with the deplorable act of antisemitism.
- Second, a biased investigation by Deutsche Welle with the sole purpose of redeeming the public image of the outlet itself
- Lastly, a public announcement stating "no structural antisemitism" and no violations found, YET deciding on immediate termination of the involved journalists without any factual proof or explanation
This is a disgrace in the face of human rights efforts at the heart of Europe happening right now and I am respectfully asking for your attention and help in stopping this trend for the sake of free press and free speech in itself as much as the Palestinian and Arab voices discriminated, silenced and erased.