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Violations of media freedoms in December 2011

(MADA/IFEX) - Ramallah, 12 January 2012 - Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) escalated violations against journalists in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) last month, frequently targeting them with tear gas grenades. December saw a number of violations, with six journalists injured by gas projectiles while covering various events across the West Bank. The violations also included a trial, beatings and arrests.

With regards to Palestinian violations, media freedoms continue to decline in the Gaza Strip, where internal security forces committed a number of violations against journalists. In the West Bank, only one violation was committed in December, the second consecutive month where only one violation was seen.

Occupation forces target the journalists with tear gas projectiles

IOF personnel deliberately targeted journalists with gas projectiles while covering the various peaceful weekly marches across the West Bank, including Modern Media Company photographer, Walid Ma'moun, who was attacked while covering the march in the village of Bil'in, near Ramallah, on Friday 2 December 2011; and Popular Resistance Committee Coordinator and photographer Ali Abu Rahma, also in Bil'in, on Friday, 9 December 2011, causing severe breathing difficulties leading to loss of consciousness. Also on 9 December, Palestine TV cameraman Najib Froana was struck on the leg by a tear gas canister while covering the weekly march in the village of Nabi Saleh, injuring his left knee.

Quds TV correspondent Linda Shalash was injured by a gas grenade when clashes broke out between Israeli Occupation Forces and the families of Palestinian detainees while she was covering the events of the prisoner swap outside of Ofer prison, near Ramallah, following the release of Gilad Shalit. Al-Hayat Al-Jadedah newspaper photographer Essam Rimawi was injured by gas grenades on his left leg while covering the weekly march in the village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah, on Friday 30 December. Pal Media Agency photographer, Ashraf Abu Shawish, was also targeted with a projectile on 31 December 2011, while covering the weekly march of A'sira village, near Nablus.

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Click here to download the full report:
MADA_December_2011_report.doc (56 KB)

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