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Journalist attacked by plainclothes police officers


(MADA/IFEX) - Ramallah, 1 July 2012 - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) strongly condemns the beating of journalist Mohammed Jaradat, who was covering a march in the city of Ramallah on Saturday.

MADA calls on the Palestinian Government to form a committee of inquiry to investigate the attack, and to hold accountable all those involved.

This attack against a journalist who was simply doing his job is an abuse of human rights and is a serious step backwards for freedom of opinion and expression.

MADA Center lawyer Raed Abdul Hamid visited Mr. Jaradat, who is still receiving treatment at Kuwaiti Hospital in Ramallah.

During the visit, Mr. Jaradat reported that he went to cover the match on Saturday at 6 p.m., which was a protest against the planned meeting between Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz and the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

During the march, Mr. Jaradat reported that four people in civilian clothing, belonging to police, beat him within sight of the police.

He says they confiscated his camera and took him to the police station, where he reports one of them said: "He is a journalist. Take care of him.”

Jaradat added: "After that they brutally attacked me, despite me showing my press identification. They took me to the upper floor and continued to beat me with a stick, causing me to have a nose bleed. They then arrested me along with six other people. While they beat me, I asked to see the Director of Police, who is a relative of mine, and he came after an hour of detention and beatings. He apologized to me and I was released."

Lawyer Raed Abdel-Hamid said that the effects of the beatings were evident on Mr Jaradat's face and body, including bruising around his left eye and wounds on his nose, back, chest, knees and legs.

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