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One journalist detained; security forces storm another journalist's home in Nablus

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 26 September 2011 - ANHRI condemns the ongoing severe restrictions imposed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) on journalists, as the Palestinian Intelligence detained "Al-Hal" newspaper journalist Mohamed Mona on 22 September 2011. No reasons were given for the detention. At the same time, and in the same city of Nablus, the Palestinian Preventive Security Service stormed the house of journalist Mouaz Meshaal to detain him for failing to appear at the Intelligence Service offices for an investigation.

After being told by the Palestinian Intelligence to appear at their headquarters on 22 September for a meeting to inquire about a simple matter, Mona went to the offices but did not return home. After several hours, his family headed to the Intelligence headquarters to inquire about him and were informed that he is being detained at Al-Janeed central prison in Nablus.

Meshaal received a similar summons to also appear at Intelligence headquarters on 22 September. He, however, contacted the chairman of the Journalists Syndicate who told him that he would settle the matter with the authorities. Subsequently, Meshaal decided not to comply with the summons and waited for the chairman to resolve the issue, Subsequently, the Preventive Security Service stormed Meshaal's house and interrogated his neighbors about his whereabouts.

"Journalists in Palestine suffer from extreme difficulties while working. Even after they survive the brutality of the Israeli occupation that stalks them and is determined to hide its crimes from the world, they are confronted with the PA in the West Bank and the Hamas government in Gaza which subject them to arbitrary detention and enforce even more restrictions on the available margin of media freedoms," said ANHRI.

"Thus far, we do not know the reasons behind the detainment of Mona and the storming of Meshaal's house by the PA. However, it is clear that the Intelligence Service had a deliberate intention to arrest the two for their opinions and their work as journalists," added ANHRI.

ANHRI calls on the international and Arab communities and all those concerned about media freedom to work on protecting Palestinian journalists and providing them with the safe atmosphere they need to do their job. ANHRI calls on the PA to release Mona and to investigate his arrest, as well as to investigate the storming of Meshaal's house and to explain the reasons behind the Intelligence Services' actions.

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