MADA: Israeli Occupation Forces arrest Al-Aseer channel director and confiscate broadcasting device
Ramallah - 17/5/2012: Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) this morning arrested Al-Aseer channel General Director Baha Khairi Mousa and took him to an unknown location following a search of his home in Jenin city, West Bank, where they confiscated the channel’s main satelitte transmitter.
The Executive Director of the channel Saher Qasim told MADA that a unit of Israeli occupation forces raided Mousa’s house at approximately 1:30 am. Soldiers searched his home, confiscating the channels transmisision device and other equipment, before arresting him and aprehending him to an unknown location. Qasim added, "Until now we still do not know where Mousa is. As for the channel, it is now broadcasting using a spare transmitter, but the occupying forces can control our broadcasts and publish any material they want via satellite and this is very scary."
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) strongly condemns the arrest of Al-Aseer Director and the confiscation the channel’s equipment. This incident highlights the continuance of Israeli authorities’ ongoing targeting of Palestinian journalists and media outlets. In one incident, the IOF raided the community media network Hona Al-Quds ("Jerusalem is here") office, run by the University of Jerusalem on 2 April 2012 in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, confiscating devices and equipment. The IOF also raided the local TV headquarters of both Watan and Educational Quds, on 29 February confiscating computers, documents and equipment.
In one particularly violent incident, occupation forces attacked Quds Net Agency reporter Diala Jwayhan on 15 May 2012, while she was covering a march commemorating the 64th anniversary of the Nakba in the Issawiya district of Jerusalem. Jwayhan told MADA: "I was covering the Nakba event in Issawiya when clashes broke out between the marchers and occupation forces, during the confrontation a soldier approached me and used all his strength to push me, forcing me on the ground, and stepped down hard on my left foot causing injuries and bruising on my back. I couldn’t breathe and eventually lost consciousness. "
MADA center demands that the international community immediately intervene to pressure the occupation government to return all channel and station equipment and end their attacks against Palestinian journalists and media institutions. It also calls for occupation authorities to be held accountabe for their repeated violations of international law and conventions that guarantee freedom of expression.