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Israeli forces detain, harass journalists

(MADA/IFEX) - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemns the Israeli occupation forces' detention of Watan local TV crew (reporter Nizar Habash, reporter Nadia Sarsour, cameraman Khalid Melhem, cameraman Suleiman Abu Sorour, crew assistant Ibrahim Badwan) on 14 July 2009, near Sorda village north of Ramallah city.

Nizar Habash said that they were at Bir Zeit University when they learned about a mobile checkpoint manned by the Israeli occupation forces near Sorda village, and headed there at around 12:00 p.m. (local time) to cover the suffering of the people at the checkpoint. When they arrived, the Israeli soldiers prevented them from filming, confiscated the camera battery, screamed at them, and told them that they were being held at the checkpoint. After half an hour, they told the soldiers that they will inform the media about their detention, so the Israeli soldiers released them, returned the battery, and told them that they would be arrested if they continued filming at the checkpoint.

MADA considers the incident a blatant violation of media freedom, and calls upon the international community to put pressure on the government of Israel to cease its violations of freedom of speech in Palestine.

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