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MADA: Preventing three journalists in Gaza from traveling a rude violation of freedom of movement


Ramallah - 01/11/2012: the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) denounces internal security in Gaza strip  prevention  three journalists from traveling to Egypt via the Rafah crossing yesterday 10/31/2012, they are: Egyptian TV correspondent Majed Shiblaq , journalist Hanan Abu Dgeem, and correspondent of channel Atlas Sport Saleem Preem.


Shiblaq told MADA lawyer that he went with his wife journalist Hanan Abu Dgeem yesterday morning to the Rafah crossing to participate in a media conference entitled "Future Vision of the Arab Media and civil society organizations "in Cairo. Where he was interrogated by the internal security at the crossing about the conference, the inviting body, and the names of the participants, after investigation for an hour and a half and a long wait,  they informed them that they are prevented of travel and participation  in the conference because of their lack of  coordination with the Government Office and the  journalists syndicate in Gaza, and because of the lack of Hamas representation in the delegation.


Shiblaq added: "We have told them that the delegation is professional and not a political one,  and nothing to do with political affairs, they told me  that we must return to Gaza and to request approval from the Information governmental office. Indeed, we communicate with the Information Office, but they asked us to publish clarification that what happened just a misunderstanding, and then they would allow us to travel, but I refused to do so. "


On the same day to internal security prevented also journalist Preem  to travel to Cairo to complete his education in media studies. Preem told MADA lawyer that after the security at the Rafah crossing stamp his passport and let him pass, but they brought him back and turned him to the interrogation center at the crossing.


Preem Said in his testimony "I was  investigated  for half an hour about the reason of my travel and I told them that I want to  complete my education , their response was  that  I am  banned from traveling and I should  go to the internal security in Khan Younis. I went there this morning, they asked me “do you want to  participate in the conference? I answered: No, I  want to complete my study, they told me that I was not banned from traveling, but must wait telephone call from them to determine the date of my travel. "


The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) strongly condemns journalists prevention from traveling, and the intervention of internal security in the freedom of movement of journalists. And calls on the relevant authorities to respect the right to freedom of expression and the right to travel , in guaranteed the Palestinian basic law. The attempts of security to control all affairs of  journalists is unacceptable and illegal, and is considered a flagrant breach of the freedom of opinion and expression.