MADA Center calls for the release of journalist Rami Samara, and to abolish summons issued against a number of journalists linked to the recent crisis in the media center of Al Najah University. A case created a huge concerns and a negative impact on freedom of expression in Palestine.
In this regard, Journalist Samara was arrested on the basis of a complaint submitted by the director of the media center at An-Najah University Ghazi Murtaja on the grounds of “slander and defamation”.
The complaint included a number of other journalists, including journalist NaelaKhalil ; who was informed by the Journalists Syndicate’s lawyer, one of several names the director of the media center at An-Najah University filed a complaint against, which paves the way for their arrest at any time, as happened with colleague Samara today.
In regards, to testimonies received by MADA from several journalists who were dismissed from Media Center of Al Najah University. The action taken by the media center against these employees through several evidences indicates that their dismissal was linked to their refusal to respond to the administration’s attempt to force them to post a hashtag on their personal pages on social media; a flagrant violation of their right to freedom of opinion and their right to privacy.
However, such a demand could not be considered in any way a normal task under the course of their work; therefore they cannot be assessed or evaluated based on these demands.
MADA center considers Palestinian Universities as a platform that assures freedoms and the frontline defender for freedoms, therefore we express our deep concern over the way in which Al-Najah University media center dealt with this issue.
Finally, we calls on the Public Prosecutor’s Office to abide by its commitments to MADA Center and the Journalists’ Syndicate, in regards to their announcement to refrain from arresting journalists for enjoying their right to freedom of opinion and expression.