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Palestinian soundman to be held for six months without charges or court appearance, announce Israeli authorities

(RSF/IFEX) - RSF condemns the 11 August 2008 announcement by the Israeli military that they have decided to detain Ibrahim Hamad, a soundman employed by the Palestinian news agency Ramattan, for six months without bringing charges and without taking him before any court. Israeli soldiers arrested him at his home in Qalandiyah, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on 15 July.

"The Israeli military may not under any circumstances arrest journalists or media assistants without giving a reason," RSF said. "If they think a journalist has done something wrong, they must say what it is and they must explain why they are arresting him. We call for Hamad's immediate release."

When reached by RSF, Ramattan management firmly condemned his arrest and called for his release. They also called on the Israeli authorities to explain why they are holding him. "This is not the first time that one of our employees has been arrested by the Israeli military," the agency said.

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