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MADA: Assaulting journalists in Gaza is a grave violation against freedom of expression.

Ramallah- (15/01/2017) – The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemns the recent attacks that the security apparatuses in Gaza Strip targeted against numerus of civilians and journalists, who participated on Thursday (12/01/2017) in a peaceful demonstration demanding the advancement of the electricity sector, as MADA considers it as a grave encroachment on media freedoms and freedom of expression that is guaranteed by the Palestinian Basic law, and the international Human rights law.


Besides, the arrest and attacking with beating against civilians during and after the participation in the demonstration, and detaining the spokesman of Fatah in Gaza Strip, Fayez Abu Eita for few hours, the attacks also targeted three journalists minimum, during the coverage of the demonstration, including two journalists that were exposed to physical attacks (photograpger of AFP Mohammad Abdulrazaq Al baba, and the reporter of Associated Press (AP), Fares AkraM Alghoul, noting that before two hours of the demonstration, the Internal security service summoned the freelance journalist Salah Abdallah Abu Salah, and he was abusively interrogated and detained for few hours regarding his writings on the bad service in the electricity sector.


Mohammad Al Baba reported to MADA” after I finished covering the demonstration I was stopped by police members and tried to confiscate my camera, although I informed them that I am a journalist performing my job, the insisted and continued to forcefully confiscate my camera, when they failed to pull the camera, one of them hit me on my face above my left eyebrow, using a cudgel I started bleeding, they took my camera and I was transferred to Kamal Odwan Hospital, they stitched my injury and transferred me to the Indonesian Hospital to receive the medical treatment and do some medical tests and x-rays”.


On the other hand journalist Fares Al ghoul reported to MADA” they confiscated my camera and cellphone in addition to other equipment under the threat of using weapons but I wasn’t exposed to any physical harm” whilst, journalist Abu Salah reported to MADA “I was detained and interrogated at the headquarters of the internal security in Gaza Strip/ Khanyounis, for four hours regarding the conduction of a report on deficiencies and frequent interruption in the electricity provided to citizens in Gaza, I was detained for two hours blindfolded in a cell before interrogation process took place”.


The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) denounces these attacks against journalists as a try to prevent them from performing their professional task, and infringing Palestinian citizens from enjoying their right to freedom of expression and opinion,  and the people’s peaceably to assemble, hence, MADA calls official bodies in Gaza Strip, to put an end to all such attacks, and to immediately release all detainees who were arrested on the back of demonstrating and expressing their opinion and protesting the electricity crises, and their peaceful participation in the demonstration, and to hold accountable the perpetrators of these attacks and violations.


Picture Shows the photoghrapher in thw French News Agency AFP Mohammed Al- baba injured