Sign up for weekly updates

MADA expresses concern over journalists' assault in Khan Younis

(MADA/IFEX) - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) expresses concern over the assault of journalists in Khan Younis city, in the south of the Gaza Strip. The journalists were assaulted by security men affiliated with the Interior Ministry of the dismissed government, while trying to cover the visit of United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on 21 March 2010. MADA also welcomes the decision by the prime minister of the dismissed government, Ismail Haniya, to form an inquiry commission to investigate the incident.

Safa agency correspondent Ayman Salameh said the security men assaulted and insulted the journalists. They were also shooting in the air and prevented the journalists' cars from entering the venue by intercepting them with their security vehicles. Salameh continued: "The journalists were upset because the Interior Ministry announced that all journalists who want to cover the visit have to apply at the Ministry of Information, and if they get an approval they should transfer it to the Interior Ministry to get a permit. But after doing these long procedures to get permits, we couldn't cover the event; we were humiliated and insulted."

MADA also condemns the continued campaign launched by the Ministry of Information of the dismissed government against a number of media outlets affiliated or close to Fatah.

Dr. Hassan Abu Hashish, the Assistant Undersecretary in the Ministry of Information of the dismissed government, had accused the news sites Palestine Press, Aláhd, Amad for media, Fatah forum, Firas Press, Alkofia Press, Fateh Media, the Palestinian News and Information agency (WAFA) and Palestine Public TV of being responsible for implementing a propaganda war against Ismail Haniya's government.

On the other hand, MADA welcomes Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's statement: "The government tends to adopt a cultural conduct code in dealing with creators, intellectuals, journalists and opinion makers, to ensure their complete freedom and to prohibit all forms of surveillance, prevention and prosecution cessation." MADA also asks the government to stop the closure of local radio and television stations, which recently shut down Alruá and Almahed TV stations in Bethlehem, and to give them adequate opportunity to resolve the licensing terms issues.

MADA condemns all actions against journalists and Palestinian media outlets, and demands an end to the attacks on them. MADA also asks the government to respect the freedom of expression which is guaranteed by the Palestinian Basic law, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and it demands the Palestinian media outlets be objective and avoid incitement.

Latest Tweet:

Fiji's Online Safety Act is now in effect. Will it protect women & children or is it designed to muzzle free speech…

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.