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Palestinian forces arrest journalist George Qanawati

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) is demanding the immediate release of the director of Radio Bethlehem 2000, journalist George Qanawati, who was arrested by Palestinian police officers from his home on 10 November 2013.

Radio Bethlehem 2000 correspondent Erica Zidan, who had been present at his home during the arrest process, told MADA that ten policemen and detectives came to his house around 9:00 pm on 10 November with a search and arrest warrant.

"They dealt with him in an inappropriate manner and pushed his mother to the ground. Seven of them attacked him, handcuffed his hands, and arrested him," said Zidan.

Zidan said she saw him on the morning of 11 November in front of the Public Prosecutor's office with a black eye. She said he told her that he was beaten during the interrogation. Zidan also confirmed that his lawyer was prevented from attending the interrogation session with him by the Public Prosecutor in the city of Bethlehem until the next morning.

Qanawati's arrest and the beatings he endured constitute a serious violation of media freedoms. We reiterate our demand to the authorities to release him and to respect freedom of expression in Palestine.

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