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Journalists attacked in Ramallah while covering a sit-in

Journalist Firas Tannina receives medical treatment in Ramallah, 11 June 2014
Journalist Firas Tannina receives medical treatment in Ramallah, 11 June 2014

MADA

UPDATE: MADA welcomes creation of investigation committee on attacks against journalists in Ramallah (MADA, 13 June 2014)

On the morning of 11 June 2014, Palestinian security services assaulted a large group of journalists who were covering a sit-in organized by female Hamas activists against the political detention of Hamas members at the Manara roundabout in Ramallah. According to their testimonies, the security forces insulted them, confiscated some of their equipment, and prevented them from filming the event.

Those assaulted were: cameraman Hadi Al-Dibbs of Filistin Al-Yom TV, photojournalist Muhammad Jaradat, correspondent for MaanTV Firas Tannina, the chief editor of WatanTV Ali Daraghma, Maan cameraman Ahmad Milhim, cameraman Anas Abu Arqoub of Palestinian Public TV, photojournalist Sa'ed Huwari, cameraman Muath Amarne of transmedia, and photographer Muath Mashaal of Al-Nadul agency.

Hadi Al-Dibbs told MADA that plainclothes security forces attacked and punched him, then tried to seize his camera and prevented him from taking photos. He reports having injuries on his face.

Muhammad Jaradat explained to MADA that while he was taking photos from his office overlooking Manara square, security forces suddenly raided his office, tried to take his camera, and then took him to the police station. He was released after a short while. He added that his colleague Anas Abu Arqoub was also detained and then released, and that Sa'ed Huwari was also attacked.

Firas Tannina reported that the security forces were pushing the journalists violently and seizing their cameras. He explained that when he tried to calm them down, saying that they were journalists and ought to be treated with respect, they hit him. He added that he suffers from severe pain in his right arm and has received medical treatment from the Red Crescent.

Ali Daraghma indicated that the security forces tried to hit him and to detain him while he was covering the demonstration with his colleague Ahmad Milhim. He was struck in the chest and suffers from pain in the thorax.

Muath Amarne reported that the security forces attacked him and struck him with their fists and cudgels. They also broke his camera. He added that later on he was brought to the police station where he received a fair treatment. He has filed an official complaint against the aggressor. He reported several bruises on his face and neck, and pains in different parts of his body.

MADA condemns in the strongest words these attacks on the journalists, which constitute a flagrant violation of media freedom and freedom of expression. MADA demands an end to these assaults, which have witnessed a worrying escalation since the beginning of the current month. MADA also requests that an investigation committee be immediately formed and that those responsible be held accountable.

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