MADA: Palestinian Police and Israeli Troops Attacked Journalists this Week

17.03.11 – 17:04| PNN – Palestine News Network

Ramallah – MADA To PNN – the Palestinians Center for Development and Media Freedoms MADA announced on Thursday that Palestinians journalists were attacked in Gaza and Jerusalem.

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On Thursday a group of journalists were detained by members of the Israeli border guard unit following their participation in a sit- in in the Mount of Olives area in Jerusalem, protesting the killing of Al-Jazeera cameraman, Ali Hassan Al-Jaber in Libya.

In a statement to MADA, Pal Media cameraman Ashraf Shobaki said that he was with a group of journalists – Pal Media cameraman Hamza Naaji, Quds Net correspondent Diala Jwehan, Palestine Public TV cameraman Nader Baybres, and photographer Ahmad Jalajel – when members of the Israeli border guard unit stopped, ridiculed, detained, and threatened to arrest them.

Jwehan added: “after that they called a police car and took us to the police headquarter on Salah Al-deen street. They detained our colleague Ahmad Jalajel after his involvement in a verbal argument with one of the border guards. He was released after 3 and half an hour, to come back tomorrow today morning to complete the investigation”.

Meanwhile MADA also announced that Palestinian policemen and members of the internal security forces attacked journalists covering a youth sit-in on 15 March 2011 in the Alkatebah yard, Gaza Strip. Protestors were demanding an end to the current internal political divisions between Fatah and Hamas.

MADA’s legal unit took statements from the group of attacked journalists – Al-Ayyam newspaper columnist Akram Attallah, Sawt Alwatan radio correspondent Ahmad Hithit, Agence France Presse photographer Muhamad Albaba, Sawt Elsha’b radio presenter and correspondent Sameh Ramadan and Sawt Alwatan presenter Mahmud Abu Taha.

In his statement, Akram Attallah said that he went to the Alkatebah yard to cover the sit-in, during which time he was approached by internal security personnel told to leave the area. He informed them that he is a journalists and wanted to continue covering, to which security personnel responded by beating him severely, leaving him with a broken hand and numerous bruises, requiring him to seek treatment at Al-Quds hospital.

Ahmad Hathat said that on his way to Alkatebah yard about 7:00 pm he was stopped by a group of policemen and internal security forces and prevented from entering the yard. Upon informing them that he is a journalist an officer began shoving him and threatened to arrest him if he didn’t leave the area: “While I was going to covering the sit-in, I was attacked by an internal security member, he hit my camera which swung up and hit my hands and face, causing bruises; then he threatened to arrest me and confiscate my camera if I didn’t leave the area immediately, so I left”.

Sameh Ramadan said that he was covering events from the journalist’s tent in Alkatebah yard, when internal security forces began beating and cursing him. Witnesses tried to halt the attack and told the security officers that Ramadan is a journalist, they however continued to beat him and damaged his camera.

The journalist Mahmud Abu Taha was also beaten whilst attempting to cover events: “I was standing beside the journalist’s tent when I witnessed the beating of the Russian TV cameraman, I tried to help him and intervened, so they then began beating me with batons and sticks despite being fully aware that I am a journalist”.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) from its part strongly condemned these attacks and prevention of covering events. MADA says these attacks stand in flagrant violation of freedom of expression.


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