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MADA: Preventing journalists from covering a protest in Hebron is an attack on freedom of expression


18th august 2013 – Ramallah: the security services in the city of Hebron prevented journalists from covering the peaceful protest initiated by Hamas, which began after Friday prayers on from the Hussein mosque16th august 2013, to protest against the Egyptian army practices against Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood protesters.


Alquds TV cameraman Akram Al-Natsha reported to MADA that he went with a number of his colleagues to cover the protest, and when the security service began the suppression of the participants, they prevented the journalists from filming, threatened, and insulted them. Al-Natsha added: "We have been attacked verbally, and my colleagues “Reuters cameraman Mohammed Abu Ghania and Pal Media Agency photographer Amer Abdeen” and I were pushed and pulled by force”.  Al-Natsha noted that he had seen members of the security forces attack the youths who were filming with their mobile phone cameras, and the devices were confiscated.


The French News Agency photographer Hazem Badir reported to MADA that the journalists were at the site before the protest for about 30 minutes, and the security forces were there as well, and no communication between both sides occurred. He then added: “but when the security forces decided to suppress the protest, they began preventing us from covering and filming, and threatened the journalists, so we backed up”.  


The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemns preventing journalists from covering, and condemns the verbal and physical attacks on the journalists, and considers this an attack on freedom of expression which is guaranteed in the Palestinian basic law in its article 19, and MADA demands an end to such practices against the Palestinian journalists.