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Radio director's trial postponed; press prevented from covering model's visit

(MADA/IFEX) - Ramallah, 15 September 2011 - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) expresses its concern for Radio Bethlehem 2000's director George Canawati whose trial was postponed by the Magistrate Court of Bethlehem City until 5 September 2012.

Canawati has faced trial since 3 October 2011 following charges filed by Bethlehem's Governor Abelfatah Hamayel after he published a note critical of Bethlehem's Health Directorate on his Facebook page - and also criticized the presence of Israeli products - following a managerial department meeting he attended on Thursday 8 September 2011.

MADA additionally condemns Palestinian security members for preventing journalists from covering British supermodel Naomi Campbell's visit to the city of Bethlehem yesterday, 22 May 2012, by.

Associated Press photographer Iyad Hamad told MADA that the presidential guard prevented all journalists from covering the event with the exception of Palestine Public TV, which conducted an interview with Campbell in a restaurant in Bethlehem.

Hamad added "In the beginning, they prevented us from filming inside the Nativity Church - we thought this was due to the sanctity of the holy site. We waited until she exited the church, but they prevented us from filming, using their hands to obscure our camera lenses and threatening to break our cameras. They also held a black cover over her face. Some of the security
members told us that she requested they prevent journalists from covering her visit, but the situation was exaggerated by Palestinian security forces, she is just a model visiting Palestine for the first time. "

MADA center renews its calls to all concerned authorities to respect the freedom of opinion and expression in the occupied Palestinian territories and enable journalists to perform their job freely and without harassment.

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