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Israeli forces arrest 27 Palestinian journalists over two years

The Palestinian Center for Developments and Media Freedoms organised a demonstration on 20 February 2013 in front of Ofer prison protesting against the Israeli forces' detention of journalists
The Palestinian Center for Developments and Media Freedoms organised a demonstration on 20 February 2013 in front of Ofer prison protesting against the Israeli forces' detention of journalists

MADA

(MADA/IFEX) - The Palestinian Center for Developments and Media Freedoms (MADA) organized, in collaboration with the Palestinian Ministry of Information and the Journalists' Syndicate, a protest on 20 February 2013 in front of Ofer prison near the city of Ramallah. The protest was organized to protest the policy of detaining journalists practiced by the Israeli occupational forces (IOF), and it coincided with the trial of Amer Abu Arfah, a reporter at Shehab Agency, who has been under administrative detention since 21 August 2011.

Mousa Rimawi, general director at MADA, stated that the policy of detaining journalists has been ongoing for decades, whereby the Israeli occupational authorities carried out 27 cases of journalists' arrest during the last two years. Most of the journalists have since been released. Rimawi added that the persistence of the Israel policy is a blatant violation of the law and the international conventions that ensure freedom of expression. Today's protest was held to demand the release of the detained journalists and to protest against this policy. The latest manifestation of this policy was the arrest of a cartoonist for the Alhayat al Jadeda newspaper, Mohammed Saba'na, on 16 February 2013, whose detention was renewed for another nine days at Aljalama prison today [20 February].

The IOF also prevented three journalists yesterday [19 February] from covering a raid on the town of Aldoha near Bethlehem.

Alquds TV correspondent Mamdouh Hamamra told MADA that his colleagues at PalMedia, cameraman Samer Hamad and Alquds Dot Com Cameraman Abdulrahman Younis, and he went to cover the raid operation on Aldoha. Once their cameras were switched on, they were stopped from recording by the IOF, they were also checked for identifications and Press IDs. Hamamra added, "They prevented us from continuing the coverage of the operation, and even erased any footage Abdulrahman managed to take."

Rimawi called on the international community to conduct an immediate intervention in order to force Israel to stop all attacks on journalists. Attacks, which put journalists' lives in danger and prevent them from performing their professional duty, have significantly escalated over the past year.
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