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French journalist wounded in grenade attack while covering march

(MADA/IFEX) - Ramallah, 25 September 2011 - A delegation from the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) - center director Mousa Rimawi and Public Relations Officer Riham Abu Aita - today visited wounded French journalist Chris Hoby (38 years) at Ramallah Hospital to check on his health and provide moral support.

Hoby told MADA that he had gone to cover the Nabi Saleh march northwest of Ramallah on Friday 23 September 2011 and was standing approximately 50-60 meters from the occupation forces when a soldier threw a metal grenade (a new type of weapon, according to one of the Palestinian activists) to the ground beside him, causing severe contusions on his right leg. Hoby received immediate triage treatment at the scene before being transferred to hospital by ambulance.

Rimawi said that Hoby was yet another victim of repeated Israeli attacks against journalists, which constitute a major threat to their lives and work. Israeli occupation forces continue to suppress peaceful marches in various cities, towns and villages across the West Bank, and target journalists in an attempt to prevent them from capturing their violent reactions to unarmed demonstrators. Rimawi stressed the importance of immediate intervention by the international community to protect demonstrators and journalists in the region.

MADA center expresses its hope for the speedy recovery of journalist Chris Hoby, who will return to France today to complete his treatment, and reaiterates its stong condemnation of the Israeli assault upon him, which constitutes a flagrant violation of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guaranteeing freedom of opinion and expression.

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