- Published on Friday, 03 August 2012 09:06
The Palestinian Center For Development & Media Freedoms (MADA) warned of a dramatic deterioration in media arena over the past few days, in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
For example, MADA has highlighted an investigation by the Attorney General in Gaza against a member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian journalists Syndicate, Tahseen Al-astal, who was also prevented from traveling.
In another example, the Fateh Journalists Block threatened in a press release " to take measures against the Institutions belonging to the Hamas Movement, including media institutions in the West Bank and Jerusalem, if Hamas did not stop its violations against journalists in Gaza and if it does not back down on actions against them, within a week".
(The reasons for the crisis is due to the dispute about the legitimacy of Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, which began when large number of journalists affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip raided the Journalists' Syndicate headquarters in 11 October 2011. The interlopers forcibly took control of the offices and expelled syndicate journalists, declaring the formational of a new transitional council which will be convened for 6 months in the lead up to elections, in fact they held election in march, they confidered the board of syndicate who was elected in Ramallah and have representatives from Gaza Strip and Tahseen Al-astal is one of them, is working illegal, and they have the right of the PJS name. The two bodies are carrying the same name).
The division between Fatah and Hamas has led to a sharp rise in violations against journalists and media organizations in the past few years, and we are worry the new crises will lead to more deterioration of freedom of expression.
MADA wants to emphasize the problems must be solved through dialogue, and the two parties must refrain from punishing journalists and media organizations in the differences between them, so MADA calls for:
· All relevant parties (in particular, the Fatah and Hamas movements) to stop all actions that would aggravate the situation further and create a strained media environment.
· We urge the two parties not to turn to security forces to solve these problems, and to distance journalists and the media from such treatment.
· We demand an immediate intervention by the Federation of Arab Journalists, and the International Federation of Journalists to put an end to the escalating crisis.
· We at MADA Centre are willing to engage further to help resolve disputes between the two parties.