MADA: the press still pays the price of the Palestinian division

PNN/ Ramallah/

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) expresses its concern at the escalation of violations against media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by the Palestinian security forces; which came as a result of the increased tension due to the internal political division.

The latest days witnessed a number of violations; where several journalist were detained, arrested and assaulted in addition to the violations committed against citizens for expressing their opinion.

For instance, on Monday the Palestinian Intelligence Service detained Al-Hurriyye Radio anchor Ra’ed Shareef in Hebron until midnight after summoning him on the afternoon of the same day. Besides, the Palestinian Security Forces arrested Al-Quds Press International News Agency correspondent Khaldoun Mazloom in Nablus, they also arrested Jana for Media Production photojournalist Haitham Warasne and his former colleague Amr Halayqa from Hebron.

On the other hand, Gaza Strip witnessed similar type violations; where Arrisala media institution photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Hassira was assaulted by Saraya Al-Quds (Al-Quds Brigades) members, while he was covering an event in Gaza. In addition to that, Internews Agency correspondent Tareq Al-Farra who is also a media student at Filastin University was arrested and interrogated by the Internal Security forces in Gaza for his criticizing comments on Facebook.

Al-Farra reported to MADA: “I went to the Internal Security headquarters in Khan Younis after they summoned me. They put me in the waiting room and blind folded me, they told me to hold a pole that was inside the room and told me to never sit down. At around 11 o’clock they started interrogating me about my writings on Facebook and criticizing the General Prosecutor’s decision of closing Jawwal Company. They were beating me at my back and loins during the interrogation.”

As MADA condemns all of these violations, it also demands all the Palestinian officials not to involve the press, media freedoms and public freedoms in any political disputes.

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