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MADA, Palestinian journalists meet with UN free expression rapporteur

(MADA/IFEX) - Ramallah - 11/12/2011: Representatives of the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) met on Friday 9 December 2011 with the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression of the United Nations, Mr Frank La Rue. The meeting took place in the presence of a group of Palestinian journalists at the headquarters of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Ramallah.

MADA Public Relations Officer Riham Abu Aita talked during the meeting about the reality of media freedoms in Palestine, and highlighted journalists' suffering as the result of violations as a key concern, particularly those committed by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) and settlers during their coverage of events around the West Bank and Jerusalem. Abu Aita stressed the need for urgent international intervention to end the violations against journalists and media institutions in Palestine as the continuation and increased brutality of attacks pose a very real threat to the lives and wellbeing of journalists.

During the meeting a number of journalists spoke of their personal suffering at the hands of IOF and settlers. French Agency photographer Nasser Shyoukhi spoke about the suppression of journalists at the weekly marches in the city of Hebron, while Al-Quds newspaper photographer Mahmoud Alian and Quds Net correspondent Diala Jwaihan spoke about the realities of their work in Jerusalem, particularly while covering events in and around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, home demolitions and land confiscations in the area. Ma'an network correspondent Firas Taneneh also spoke of the violations against journalists during their coverage of the weekly marches in the villages around Ramallah.

Mr. La Rue requested further details of the violations and also viewed a number of photos and video clips the journalists had taken whilst under attack. The meeting concluded with Mr La Rue expressing his appreciation to MADA and the attending journalists for the time they took to meet with him.

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