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MADA urges investigation into the attacks against journalists in Al-Bireh

Ramallah- 28/12/2015 Palestinian Center for Developments and Media Freedoms “MADA” express its deep concerns and, at the same time, condemns the attack of Palestinian Security Forces against a number of journalists, as well as preventing them from covering a march, which was organized on Friday, 25th of December, at the northern entrance of Al-Bireh city- West Bank, in addition to the assault of some participants in that march. Hence, MADA considered that Palestinian Security Forces use such these violent means indicate that they violate laws which guarantee freedom of expression.

Some Palestinian Security Forces, who were wearing civilian clothes and holding sticks, assaulted a number of journalists, as four of journalists confirmed that. Thus, they attacked them by detention, beating, preventing from coverge, inspecting and seizing their equipment.

Palestine Today TV correspondent Jehad Barakat reported to MADA: Friday, 25th of December, when I arrived with the TV photographer-Jamil Hashem Salhab- to the Roundabout of Pharmaceuticals-Al-Bierh city, in order to cover a demonstration heading towards Biet Eil settlement, at the entrance of AlBireh city, hence, there was a human barrier of the presidential guards  objecting that march. Once we arrived there, the clashes broke out between protesters and the presidential guards. Meanwhile, my colleague started filming, however, five or six people wearing civilian clothes, violently caught him, resulting in tearing his shirt in addition to confiscating his camera.”

He  added: they dragged me and my colleague away for around 20 meters since I asked for the reasons of preventing the filming of the march. One of security forces, who was wearing military uniforms, ordered to arrest me when I tried to use my cell phone. He also asked me to shut it down in addition to seizing it, rather than asking for our press cards. However, we were still detained for one hour and twenty minutes. Then, we were heading to the building of Palestine Monetary Authority. Hence, we were handed over to a car, while we found out that it followed to the Palestinian Intelligence Service. In that meantime, they checked my cell phone to make sure that it didn’t have any photo for the march as well as confiscating the memory of the camera before releasing us. Note that the camera’s memory was still detained until Saturday; however, Pal Today Channel took it after deleting all of its content.

He also confirmed in his comment on his Facebook: “he and his colleague saw disguised people, who were wearing sport clothes and most of them holding sticks, climbed into the cars of Palestinian Presidential guards when they pulled away from the place.”

MADA urges Palestinian official sides to investigate on that event, as well as publishing the result of that investigation. It also urges for accountability for those responsible for that serious violation against journalists in addition to urging them to respect the freedom of expression. 

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Faiha Shalash, who is the waif of Majd Suadi  TV correspondent Muhammad Adeeb Qaiq(32 years old) reported to MADA: “in 20th of December, IOF informed the lawyer of her husband who was arrested from his house in 21st of November from Abu Qash village-Ramallah, that they transferred him to the administrative detention for 6 months.”

Shalash also confirms that a decision was issued while he was in  Al-Rammlah hospital because he is  suffering serious health conditions as a result of his hunger strike for 33 days.”  

MADA express its deep concerns over the life of Muhammad Qaiq, who is still continuing his hunger strike according to his wife and  demands the  release of Qaiq, in addition to end the policy of administrative detention.