“MADA” demands release of detained journalists in Palestinian prisons

Ramallah/ PNN/

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemns the arrest campaign carried out by the security services in the West Bank last night against five journalists; MADA expresses its rejection of all justifications of attacks against media freedoms.

The arrestment campaign included the following journalists: Ahmad Mohammad Halayka, Tareq Abu Zeyd, Quttaiba Saleh Qasem, Mamdouh Mahmoud Hamamreh and Amer Abdulhakim Abu Arafa.

Moy’ad Hamamreh the brother of the journalist Mamdouh Hamamreh reported to MADA “at around19:00pm of (08/08/2017) and while my brother Mamdouh was in a shop right near his house in Husan village, a private car arrived (Scoda), with agents dressed in civil presented themselves as Palestinian intelligence agents, and asked Mamdouh to accompany them without presenting any official document or any arrest warrant, and they deported him to the headquarters of the Palestinian Intelligence in Bethlehem”.

In another testimony Safa’ AlHuroub, wife of journalist Amer Abu Arafa reported to MADA “a troop about 10 agents of Palestinian Intelligence service (with military uniform) stormed our house in Hebron around10:00pm of 08/08/2017, they requested all Amer’s devices including his laptop and cellphone, they confiscated them and arrested Amer”.

Noting that, a senior Palestinian security source informed WAFA (Palestinian News Agency) that “these four journalists arrested by the security services: Tareq Abu Zeyd, Quttaiba SalehQasem, Mamdouh Mahmoud Hamamreh and Amer Abdulhakim Abu Arafa, are accused of leaking sensitive information to hostile security services and this subject is still under investigation.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms MADA condemns these arrests and considers them to be part of a marked escalation of violations against media freedoms and a blatant violation of the Palestinian Basic Law, which protects freedom of expression and the press.

MADA called on the Palestinian security services in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to stop the policy of arresting journalists, and keep these journalists far from the internal political division and their internal frictions.

MADA also demanded the release of the journalist Fuad Jaradah, who was detained in Gaza two months ago (arrested on 08/06/2017).

Finally, MADA urged a quick retreat from what was stated previously by the security source due to the serious and abusive accusations against these colleagues and all Palestinian journalists.