Union condemns police attack on Palestinian journalist

Maan News Agency | July 2, 2012

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Journalists union on Sunday condemned an assault by plainclothes Palestinian officers on a local journalist covering a demonstration in Ramallah a day earlier.

Palestinian journalist Muhammad Jaradat was beaten by non-uniformed individuals at the protest, who referred to themselves as members of the security forces, the union said in a statement.

Jaradat was injured in his left eye and had bruising on his chest, back and other parts of his body, it continued.

After the beating, he was taken to the Ramallah police station where he was kicked in front of police officers who did not intervene to protect him, the union said.

The syndicate said the assault on Jaradat breaks the government’s stated commitment to freedom of expression. They called on police to urgently investigate and punish those involved in the attack.

Palestinian youth had gathered to protest against the leadership’s scheduling of a meeting with Israeli vice premier Shaul Mofaz, a summit later called off.

Palestinian security forces spokesman Adnan Dmeiri said seven people were taken into custody on Saturday and later released. He said more than ten officers and demonstrators sustained bruises as a result of clashes.

On Sunday, protesters gathered again to condemn the violence, and were fought back with police batons.

A Ma’an correspondent said at least two journalists were taken into custody. Dmeiri said 10 people were hospitalized, and several arrested, defending the police action as blocking a banned protest near the presidential headquarters.

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