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MADA condemns police beating of journalist

(MADA/IFEX) - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) strongly condemns the attack on Aljazeera Net correspondent Ahmad Fayyad by members of the special police force of the dismissed government in Gaza. MADA also condemns the confiscation of a transmission device from Radio Mazaj FM by employees of the Communication and Information Technology Ministry and Customs Brigade, in the city of Ramallah. The two accidents occurred on 4 August 2010.

Fayyad said that he went to cover a concert by the Jordanian band Tuyor Al Janeh around 8:30 p.m., and when he arrived there he noticed that some people were upset about overcrowding at the gate of the event. He decided to film the scene. Meanwhile, a member of the special police shouted at him, and asked him to approach him, and asked to see the photos.

Then another policeman came, screaming violently, and also requested a look at the pictures, so Fayyad gave him the camera. The policeman began to beat him, hitting him on his neck and insulting him with obscene words in front of his three children, who started to cry. Fayyad said, "After that I went to Nasser hospital in the city of Khan Younis. They told me that I had bruises and redness on my neck and upper jaw. Then I went to the police chief's office in Gaza, and when I told him what had happened, he apologized and promised to open an investigation into the incident and to hold the police officers responsible for the attack."

In a separate case, the program manager of Radio Mazaj FM, Ahmed Farraj, said that around five employees of the Customs Brigade and the Ministry of Information and Technology came to the radio station's headquarters and said that they had orders to confiscate the transmitter, but they did not have anything in writing. Farraj added, "The head of the Journalist's Syndicate assured me that he contacted the minister and the minister assured him that he did not know about the decision and that the ministry would return the transmitter to the radio station, however, it has not been returned yet. A member of the Secretariat of the syndicate ensured me that the transmitter is located at the Customs Brigade offices because of the decision issued by the ministry to confiscate it.

MADA renews its demands to stop attacks against journalists and media outlets in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and to punish those responsible for the attacks.

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