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Israeli Occupation Forces detain camera operator, interrupt filming

(MADA/IFEX) - Ramallah - 19/6/2011 - On the afternoon of 19 June 2011, Israeli Occupation Forces detained cameraman Moáyad Alashkar and prevented him from filming in front of Khdori University in Tulkarem, north West Bank.

Alashkar, a cameraman for Ma'an network and the Associated Press, said that he was filming members of the Israeli intelligence service while they stopped and searched university students on 19 June. Israeli military personnel conducted full body searches and confiscated students' mobile phones and identity cards for inspection.

While filming events, Alashkar was approached by an officer who confiscated his camera, identity card and press cards. The officer proceeded to tell him that filming in the area was forbidden. Alashkar objected and got into a verbal altercation with the officer, during which time the officer ordered his accompanying soldiers to arrest him.

Alshkar added: "I called the Associated Press offices immediately and my boss requested to speak with the officer. He told the officer that I was doing my job and had a right to film. After half an hour they returned my belongings and told me 'Stay away from here'."

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemns the Israeli Occupation Forces' continued violations against Palestinian journalists and the restriction of their work. MADA calls upon the international community to apply real and effective pressure on the occupation forces to demand an end to violations against freedom of opinion and expression, as guaranteed under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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