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MADA demands investigations into Palestinian security attacks against journalists

Ramallah-13/3/2017 the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms "MADA" express its deep concern and strong condemnation of all violations committed by Palestinian security apparatuses against journalists. That happened while journalists were professionally covering a peaceful assembly organized on Sunday (12/03/2017) in front of Al- Bireh –Ramallah court.


 MADA demands official authorities to investigate the violation and hold perpetrators accountable. Noting that, similar assaults had been frequently repeated, without any penalization of the perpetrators.


At least 4 journalists were exposed to immense assaults and attacks, using cudgels by Palestinian police, and different Palestinian apparatuses, despite the fact that, all journalists IDs were known by the security forces and police. Moreover, other journalists and civilians were indiscriminately exposed to assaults through using tear gas bomb, stun grenades, and pepper spray.


Reporter of Ro’ya TV the journalist Hafeth Abu Sabra was exposed to unjustified and excessive use of power and force using cudgels without any resistance by him as shown in the video,  the violation was committed by more than one police member or personnel, although they were aware of his ID as a journalist.


Moreover, Mohammad Shusheh director and cameraman of Ro’ya TV was exposed to hitting by hand and cudgels, besides, Palestine todayTV reporter Jihad Barakat and its crew  were also exposed to prevent of coverage and smashing of their camera, also Ahmad Abdelafu Melhem journalist at Wattan agency was hit with cudgels.

Mohammad Abu Shusheh reported to MADA ”while we were covering the peaceful demonstration, one of the security apparatuses with plainclothes tried to confiscate my camera, when I refused he started hitting me with his hand and cudgel mainly on my back, when my colleague Hafeth Abu Sabrah ( reporter of Ro’ya TV) came towards us trying to help me, they started hitting him with their hands and cudgels excessively”.


Jihad Barakat reported to MADA “when security apparatuses arrived to separate the protestors, under the pretext that the demonstrators were closing the street, they started targeting indiscriminately the protestors and journalists with tear gas bombs and pepper spray, noting that a group identified themselves as the general intelligence prevented us from coverage brutally trying to confiscate the camera of Palestine Today crew, when it was smashed”. 


The journalist Ahmad Melhem reported to MADA” when Palestinian security apparatuses attacked our colleagues in Ro’ya TV , I tried to immediate through pulling them away, and I succeeded, but I was exposed to hitting with cudgels on the back and right leg led to its swelling and redness”. 


The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms MADA, reaffirms the urgent need to protect journalists and media outlets and their right to cover all events and activities freely without any conditions, pressure, or assaults. MADA strongly condemns what journalists were exposed to this unjustified and excessive use of force that is breaching their rights listed under the Palestinian basic law, that guaranteed freedom of expression opinion and the right to assemble.


MADA also condemns the attack that targeted the protestors, which is also guaranteed under the Palestinian Basic Law. Hence, MADA demands the authorities and all responsible bodies to investigate and take punitive measures against all perpetrators and bring them before justice, and the disclosure of all results of actions taken.