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Former Aqsa TV journalists arrested by security forces

(MADA/IFEX) - 15 November 2009 - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) expresses concern about the campaign of arrests waged by the Palestinian security services in the West Bank, particularly against the former journalist of Aqsa Television, and its office director in the West Bank, Mohammed Eshtiwi.

Eshtiwi's wife said that the Palestinian military intelligence service arrested her husband on 14 November 2009. They came to his house on 12 November, but he was visiting the doctor for treatment. He then went to their headquarters in Tulkarem city on 14 November and they arrested him. He was released the following day to receive his brother who will be released from an Israeli jail after three years of imprisonment. Eshtiwi was told to return to prison in Ramallah on 16 November.

The security forces also arrested former Aqsa TV cameraman Osaid Amarneh, and former correspondents Tarek Abu Zeid and A'laa al-Titi over the past week.

The security services have arrested Aqsa TV reporters and photographers several times in the past three years, after the Government of Dr. Salam Fayyad prohibited the work of Aqsa TV in the West Bank on 16 September 2007. Subsequently, the dismissed government's interior ministry banned Palestinian Public TV in the Gaza strip on 4 March 2008.

MADA Center condemns the arrests of journalists and calls for the release of all detained journalists. MADA considers these practices a blatant violation of freedom of expression.

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