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Security forces raid journalist's home just hours after his release

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders deplores the fact that journalist Mustafa Sabri's home in Qaliqilya, in the north of the West Bank, was raided by members of the security forces as he was about to give an interview on 9 March 2010, just hours after he was released from prison on payment of 5,000 Jordanian dinars (5,160 euros) on bail.

The newspaper "Filastine"'s former bureau chief, Sabri had been detained since 4 January. No date has been set for his trial.

"Sabri's release is good news, but Palestinian journalists continue to endure a harrowing environment," Reporters Without Borders said. "The targets of arrests and raids, they are made to pay for the political tension between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Press freedom is the victim of political rivalry and score-settling in both parts of the Palestinian Territories."

After being released on the morning of 9 March, Sabri had been due to give an interview at his home at midday to Mosab Al-Khatib, the correspondent of the satellite TV station Al-Quds, and Pal Media cameraman Ashraf Abu Shawish about the role of the Palestinian Union of Journalists.

As the interview was about to begin, several members of the Palestinian Authority's security forces knocked on the door. Confiscating their video cassette and mobile phones, they forbade the journalists to carry out the interview on the grounds that they had not obtained permission.

In Gaza City, individuals claiming to be members of the Hamas interior ministry's security forces raided the home of Noufouz Al-Bakri, the correspondent of the newspaper "Al-Hayat Al-Jadida", on 7 March.

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