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Palestinian journalists prevented from covering pro-Morsi protest in Hebron

Security forces in the city of Hebron prevented journalists from covering a peaceful demonstration initiated by Hamas after Friday prayers on 16 August 2013. The aim was to protest against the Egyptian army's practices against Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood protesters.

Alquds TV cameraman Akram Al-Natsha reported to t he Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) that he went with a number of his colleagues to cover the protest, and when the security service began dispersing the protests and suppressing the protesters, they prevented the journalists from filming, as well as threatened and insulted them. Al-Natsha said: "We have been attacked verbally, and my colleagues, Reuters cameraman Mohammed Abu Ghania and Pal Media Agency photographer Amer Abdeen, and I were pushed and pulled by force." Al-Natsha noted that he had seen members of the security forces attack the youths who were filming with their mobile phone cameras, and confiscated the devices.

French News Agency Photographer Hazem Badir reported to MADA that the journalists were at the site before the protest for about 30 minutes, and the security forces were there as well, and no communication between both sides occurred. He then added: “when the security forces decided to suppress the protest, they began preventing us from covering and filming, and threatened the journalists, so we backed away”.

MADA condemns preventing journalists from covering the protests, and condemns the verbal and physical attacks suffered by journalists. The centre considers this an attack on freedom of expression, which is a right that is guaranteed in the Palestinian basic law in its article 19. MADA also demands an end to such practices against Palestinian journalists.

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