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Violations of media freedoms in August 2011

(MADA/IFEX) - Ramallah, 12 September 2011 - Freedom of expression in Palestine faced a new setback in August with journalists subjected to further violations. Israeli occupation forces committed numerous violations, including arrests, detentions, attacks and prevention of coverage.

Despite the expectations of a continued decrease of Palestinian security service violations, the numbers of incidences were both higher and more varied, including major threats to freedom of expression and the right of access to information.

Israeli occupation forces arrested three journalists in the West Bank in August, two of which remain in custody, bringing the total number of Palestinian journalists incarcerated in Israeli jails to four.

On 8 May 2011 the IOF arrested the West Bank's Felesteen newspaper office director, Walid Khalid, and Al-Quds TV program coordinator Nawaf Al-Amer on 28 June 2011, and on 9th of August 2011, they arrested the Al-Jazeera Afghanistan Bureau Chief Samer Allawy while crossing the Alkarameh/Allenby border from the West Bank to Jordan after spending his annual vacation with family in Sabastya village near Nablus city. Shihab agency correspondent Amer Abu Arafeh was later arrested on 21 August 2011 and sentenced to 6 months of administration detention. At the end of the month, 28 August 2011 Aqsa TV cameraman Osaid Amarneh was released on bail after one week in IOF custody.

In addition to arrests, IOF personnel also committed various additional violations, such as the attack against an Aljazeera crew – cameraman Nabil Mizawi and correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh – while they were covering Friday prayers on 19 August 2011, and the detention of a group of journalists preparing to cover the peaceful march against the Wall in Al Walajeh village, near Bethlehem city.

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Click here to read the full report
Palestine_MADA_August_report.doc (61 KB)

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