MADA Condemns the Arrest of the Journalist Rami Samara in Ramallah
Ramallah – 1 February 2012: Security services yesterday arrested WAFA News Agency and Radio Ajial editor Rami Samara from his place of work at the agency's headquarters in Ramallah. Samara was released after three and a half hours.
The arrest of Samara came on the back of his writing a critical commentary about the last PLO executive comity meeting, which discussed the results of negotiation with Israel in Amman, on his page of the social networking site Facebook.
Samara told MADA that four people in civilian clothes went yesterday at 1.00pm to his place of work in the agency and reprimanded him to the headquarters of military intelligence in Almoqataa in Ramallah, where he was interrogated about his activities on Facebook and his critical comments about the PA.
Samara added: "They interrogated me for about three hours and then they asked me to sign a statement for my release but I refused because they had written things that I had not said. Then they took me to the intelligence headquarters in Ramallah where I was interrogated for a further half an hour, before I was released after the intervention of my colleagues who organized a solidarity sit in protest in Ramallah demanding my release”.
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) strongly condemns the arrest of Samara and the harassment of journalists who openly express their views, as such MADA demands that security services respect freedom of opinion and expression, which is guaranteed under Article 19 of Palestinian Basic Law.