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Television correspondent assaulted

(MADA/IFEX) - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemns the 10 June 2009 attack on Quds TV correspondent Mohammed Zuhdi Mashharawi (23 years old), by Palestinian police in Gaza City. Mashharawi said that he was covering the visit of a Qatari delegation to the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. He was informed by the hospital administration that coverage of the visit would be limited to only one television channel.

There was a discussion between the correspondent and the hospital administration about this matter. The police then intervened and told him that he was prohibited from covering the event. An altercation erupted. Acting beyond their capacity, the officers detained him in the hospital security room for one hour.

Mashharawi later made a protest to the Police Department, which has promised to investigate the incident. That same night they offered him an apology.

In addition, MADA condemns the arrest of Dr. Farid Abdul-Fattah Abu Dher (47 years old), director of the Alnajah Press Office and a lecturer on media studies at Alnajah University. His wife said security forces cordoned off their house in the city of Nablus at about 3:00 p.m. (local time) on 10 June, and then knocked on the door. When she opened they asked about her husband. She responded that he was inside the house, and they asked her to call for him.

Dr. Abu Dher's son, Bara, was returning home at that very moment. When he asked the security forces about the matter, they assaulted him and detained him in one of their cars. They then arrested Dr. Abu Dher and released his son.

MADA condemns the attack on Mashharawi and the arrest of Dr. Abu Dher. It demands the cessation of attacks on journalists.

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