MADA Report; 32 violations of media freedom in January

Nathan Schmidt / Bethlehem

The Palestinian Centre for Development and Media Freedom (MADA) released their report for January 2018, listing 32 violations of media freedoms, 28 of which were committed by occupation forces.

Violations included unlawful detention, restriction of access to events – particularly those unfolding in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem, as well as beatings and physical intimidation.

The worst of the violations reported by MANA was the physical assault of a Reuter’s photographer in Jerusalem.  The photographer was beaten in the head by an Israeli police officer and left with serious injuries, including concussion.

Other violations of note included, according to MANA, the case of Al-Aqsa TV correspondent Tarek Abu Zied, whose case was transferred to the Supreme Court in Palestine. MANA noted the transfer as being abnormal and without precedent.

Zied was arrested alongside 4 other journalists in August for allegedly leaking sensitive material and endangering public safety.

Al-Aqsa TV is affiliated with Hamas.

The latest report marks a considerable drop in violations, with 89 reported for December 2017, 84 of which were committed by occupying forces.

The drastic spate of violations coincided with U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise the Jerusalem as the capital of Jerusalem that set about a wave of protests across Palestine.

The rate of violations committed by Palestinian authorities, one in the West Bank and two in Gaza, were reportedly as average.

The rate of violations for January was still high compared to months prior to December.