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MADA launches campaigns calling for end to attacks on press freedom

(MADA/IFEX) - Ramallah, 9 August 2011 - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms has launched two new campaigns calling for an end to the Israeli Occupation Forces' (IOF) attacks on press freedom, and an end to the influence Palestinian internal political divisions have on Palestinian media.

As part of these campaigns MADA will implement a series of activities in August 2011, including the publication of two summary reports on IOF and Palestinian security service violations over the past three and a half years.

The two reports show that the majority of the violations have been committed by Israeli forces, which have the highest propensity toward committing physically abusive actions and attacks and are responsible for significantly more incidents involving serious injuries and fatalities. A significant decrease has been observed in violations perpetrated by the Palestinian security service since the 4 May 2011 Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement. The impact of the reconciliation agreement, however, still remains to be seen, particularly with journalists continuing to practice self-censorship.

MADA wishes to emphasize its condemnation of all attacks on journalists, regardless of the type or the perpetrator, and renews its demand for an end to all violations and for compliance with local and international laws, particularly the guarantees for freedom of expression stipulated in Articles 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Palestinian Basic Law. MADA wishes also to stress the importance of media freedom campaigns and welcomes support from and the solidarity of other organizations and individuals. Together, we can make significant strides in halting all violations of freedom of expression in the Palestinian territories.

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