PMF: PA uses Judiciary to intimidate journalists

[ PIC 25/05/2012 – 10:06 AM ]

GAZA,(PIC)– The Palestinian Media Forum (PMF) has strongly condemned the PA judicial and executive authorities’ decision to try the director of Radio Bethlehem 2000, George Canawati, because of comments on his facebook page.

The forum said, in a statement on Thursday, that Magistrate Court of Bethlehem City has adjourned on Wednesday George Canawati’s trial to September 5.

Canawati was arrested by the PA security service on September 2011 after he published a comment critical of Bethlehem’s Health Directorate on his Facebook page in addition to criticizing the presence of Israeli products on a table in a department meeting of managers. Then he was released on September 2011 with the provision that he appears before court again.

The media forum has strongly condemned the PA’s crackdown on freedom of expression in the West Bank, saying it is in context of the PA intimidation and harassment policy against journalists in order to prevent them from critical writing which violates the PA officials’ speeches and promises of freedom of expression and free media work.

The forum has strongly rejected the use of law and judicial bodies against journalists and the suppression of freedom, saying that those who should be tried are the corrupted officials who use their positions to promote their personal interests.

It called on human rights organizations to bear their responsibilities in following up the arrest campaigns against journalists in the West Bank and to declare their position as well as they are doing in Gaza.

The forum stressed that it is not acceptable that journalist’s suppression and intimidation are still continuing in the atmosphere of the Arab spring.

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