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MADA calls for solidarity with journalists after two are attacked and threatened

(MADA/IFEX) - On the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian journalists, 26 September 2010, The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) pays tribute to Palestinian journalists, who are doing their professional duty despite risks, obstacles and attacks on them, especially by the Israeli occupying forces. Most recently, on 25 September, AP photographer Nasser Shyoukhi was subjected to a violent attack by the Israeli occupying forces, and is still recovering at Al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron.

Shyoukhi told MADA details of his attack, saying: "I went to cover the weekly march of Beit Omar in Hebron. After the end of the march one of the soldiers approached me and said, 'Get away from here'. I told him that I would leave. I walked a few meters, then two Israeli border guards attacked me and put me on the ground and started beating me roughly all over my body. After that they handcuffed me and took me to a nearby wall of the settlement of Karmi Tsur. There I was detained for about two hours, during which time soldiers who were standing there beat and insulted me. After they released me I was taken to Al-Ahli hospital in Hebron. The doctors said that I'm suffering from two broken ribs and that I have bruises all over my body."

In a separate incident, Al-Quds Net correspondent Diala Jwehan said that she thought she was going to die while she was doing her job on 24 September in the Al-Essawiyeh area of Jerusalem. Jwehan said that at 8:00 p.m., accompanied by television producer Fared Saleh, she went to conduct an interview with the family of a Palestinian child who died because of inhaling gas from a grenade thrown by Israeli forces. After the journalists came out of the house, they noticed that members of the Israeli police were in the vicinity. Jwehan and her colleague heard the police speaking with each other about firing bullets and tear gas at them. The police shone a laser at the journalists and shot bullets into the air around them, which traumatized them. Jwehan said, "In this moment we believed that we would die, it was a very frightening situation; even now I can't stand on my legs."

MADA calls on all international institutions and human rights organizations to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinian media workers, to work to ensure their protection, and to halt all attacks against them. MADA also demands that all concerned parties respect freedom of expression in the occupied Palestinian territory, which is guaranteed in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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