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Australia: ABC Anchor Antoinette Lattouf fired for speaking up on Gaza, files unlawful termination claim

Radiance News Service

New Delhi, Dec. 22: Globally, journalists, sportspersons and other public personalities have increasingly been speaking out in support of Gaza – and have faced the consequences. Last week, cricketer Usman Khwaja first wore a message of support on his shoes, and after a censure, decided to wear a black band in support of Palestinians, for which he has received a Clause F reprimand (first offense) from the ICC. Now, yet another episode of censorship has emerged from Australia, where journalist Antoinette Lattouf has been sacked from the ABC Radio for a social media post almost overnight as she was about to come in for her final two shifts for the week.

Lattouf has filed a submission to the Fair Work Commission for unlawful termination on the grounds of “political opinion or a reason that included political opinion”. The FWC in Australia protects workers against adverse action based on the expression of political views, as long as it does not extend to political violence.

Lattouf’s complaint claims that she has been the target of Zionist lobbying including the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), although ECAJ has denied this. Lattouf’s post did not include anything provocative, but instead, was a repost of a post from the Human Rights Watch. Lattouf is of Lebanese descent.

Lattouf joins a growing list of public figures who have been censured for their pro-Palestinian views or have even been terminated from their place of employment. This also comes in the light of social media companies censoring posts on Palestine, which has been covered in a new HRW report titled, “Meta’s Broken Promises: Systemic Censorship of Palestine Content on Instagram and Facebook”, which argues that between October and November 2023, there have been over 1,050 takedowns and other suppression of content Instagram and Facebook posted by Palestinian supporters.

Khwaja too, stood by his position, adding that he did not have any agendas except to shine a light on what he is passionate about, that it was entirely about humanitarian issues and not religion in particular.

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