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Violations of media freedoms in March 2012

(MADA/IFEX) - 30 April 2012 - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) has recorded severe violations against media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territories during March 2012.

These violations included continued Israeli attacks against journalists covering events such as the peaceful weekly demonstrations against settlements and the apartheid wall in the West Bank, and the activities of Land Day on 30 March in Jerusalem. A journalist was also injuring during Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip.

There was also a significant increase in violations committed by Palestinian parties in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, compared to the previous month. These violations included detention, interrogation, beatings, threats and prohibiting people from working as journalists. This is despite the repeated statements of Palestinian officials in Ramallah and Gaza, concerning the importance of freedom of speech and public freedoms.

MADA condemns all attacks against journalists, which are a severe violation of the freedom of expression protected by international charters and national laws. MADA has also repeated calls for the international community to take a serious stand against the Israeli violations, which jeopardise the lives of journalists, prevent them from carrying out their professional duties, and of course have a psychological impact. In addition, MADA calls for the release all journalists currently detailed in Israeli prisons, four of whom are being held under administrative detention. MADA also demands Palestinian parties work to halt this deterioration in media freedoms and provide appropriate working conditions for journalists and other media workers, including preventing their arrest.

With the release of this monthly report, MADA is greatly concerned about the dangerous deterioration in freedom of expression in the Palestinian territories, in particular the pursuit of journalists and bloggers in response to their journalistic work or their writing on social networking sites. This reduces freedom of expression and encourages self-censorship, which negatively affects the professional performance of journalists and the local media.

Read the full report



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