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Journalist harassed by Hamas police

(MADA/IFEX) - Police officers of the Hamas government assaulted Quds Radio correspondent Mohammed Abdul Nabi in Kamal Adwan Hospital, Gaza Strip, on the morning of 27 March 2011. The officers detained the journalist for over an hour in a room of the hospital where he had been covering a story.

According to his statement, Abdul Nabi went to the Kamal Adwan hospital to report on the civilians injured following an attack on Jabaliya City, northern Gaza, by the Israeli Occupation Forces. While he was there, it became apparent that one of the injured had been mistakenly pronounced dead and taken to the morgue where he was left for half an hour. Upon discovering that the patient was still alive, his family began to scream and protest against the medical neglect. Abdul Nabi reported the story, titled "the living martyr", live on Quds Radio and included the testimony of the patient's cousin who had witnessed the error.

Upon completion of the broadcast, Abdul Nabi was approached by six armed police personnel who informed him that he was wanted by the Ministry of Health. The officers then tried to arrest him, to which he protested. He was then taken by force to a private room in the hospital despite the intervention of numerous witnesses.

Abdul Nabi added: "I was attacked, treated like a criminal and verbally insulted. A doctor from the hospital came to the room, demanding I withdraw the report on air, but I refused and said he should file a legal complaint. I was detained for more than an hour, then released."

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) strongly condemns the attack and attempts to put pressure on Abdul Nabi to withdraw his report. MADA considers the actions of police personnel and the member of hospital staff a violation of media freedoms, and an attempt to distort the truth and cover up negligence that could have cost a patient their life.

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