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Security forces detain journalist

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is a 24 July 2008 IFJ media release:

IFJ Calls for Release of Journalist Held by Palestinian Authorities

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called for the release of Al Jazeera reporter Wadah Eid who has been held for six days without being charged by Palestinian Preventive Security.

Eid is a reporter for Al Jazeera in Nablus and other parts of the West Bank. He was arrested in the West Bank town of Qalqilya.

"There is a severe violation of this journalist's rights," said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. "If there are no formal charges against him, he should be released immediately and allowed to resume his work as a journalist. We are concerned that this is a tactic to intimidate our colleague and influence his reporting."

According to Al Jazeera, Palestinian security forces claim Eid is not being held because of his work. Eid's mother told Al Jazeera that the journalist was initially accused of openly criticizing the Palestinian Authority and being a Hamas sympathizer.

The Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate (PJS), an IFJ affiliate, is also trying to ensure Eid's quick release.

"There is no excuse to call on or detain any journalist because of his work; doing so is an attack on press freedom," said PJS President Naim Toubassi.

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide.

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