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On Human Rights Day, MADA calls on international community to speak out against attacks on Palestinian journalists

(MADA/IFEX) - 10 December 2009 - At a time when the world celebrates the 61st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Palestinian people are still suffering from the Israeli occupation and its continued violations of their basic rights, including the right to self-determination and the ability to live in dignity and peace in their homeland, for the last 42 years.

Israeli occupation forces continue their violations of press freedom in the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT). The most serious case involved four journalists who were killed during the last aggression on Gaza Strip at the beginning of 2009. Israel also continues to impose a brutal blockade, which make the lives of more than one million people a permanent hell.

The violations committed by the Israeli occupation do not make us forget the Palestinian journalists suffering from attacks and arrests by the Palestinian security service in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, especially over the past three years, which have also increased during the last month.

On this great occasion, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), demands that the international community pressure Israel to stop its attacks on journalists in particular, and to cease its violations of Palestinian rights in general, and to abide by the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, particularly the Article 19, which states:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

MADA also asks the Palestinian authorities in Gaza and West Bank to be committed to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration, and also the 19 Article in the Palestinian Basic Law, which also includes freedom of opinion and expression, and to stop all attacks on journalists.

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