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Palestinian security forces violently suppressed journalists during peaceful protest in Ramallah

Ramallah - (14/6/2018) - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) expresses its deep concern and condemnation of the Palestinian security services' repression and widespread attacks on journalists and the media outlets and preventing them from covering the peaceful assembly that was organized in Ramallah to demand lifting all  sanctions imposed on Gaza Strip, MADA denounces these violations that targeted civilians including journalists who peacefully participated in the demonstration; such rights are guaranteed under the Palestinian Basic Law.

 

 

One of the most serious manifestations of the unprecedented repression of journalists and participants in this peaceful demonstration last night was the Palestinian police allowed dozens of elements wearing civilian uniforms and some wearing unified- caps to suppress demonstrators and journalists; constitutes a flagrant violation of the law and the role of the police.

 

According to the MADA’s initial investigations, these blatant attacks were not only grave but deliberate and premeditated to oppress and prevent the coverage of the demonstration; at least 17 journalists (including media crews) some of them were subjected to unjustified violent attacks they were forcibly prevented them from covering the event and forced who were not beaten under the threat and insults to leave the place, besides, to targeting them with tear gas canisters.

 

 

Among the journalists who were directly attacked, threatened and prevented from coverage were: Shasha news journalist Heba Erekat, who brought about 10 security men wearing civilian clothes to cover her eyes and tied her hands and beat her and kicked her on the ground They tried to confiscate her phone, although she informed the that she is a  journalist and showed her press card. The director of Al-Arabi Al- Jadeed newspaper in the West Bank journalist Naela Khalil who was also beaten and sprayed with pepper gas by the security agents. And the journalist Ali Obaidat, who was beaten and prosecuted to prevent him from covering the events, and Ithar Abu Gharbia, a cameraman of Al-Arabi television channel was assaulted by pushing and insulting him and confiscating his camera. "Watan News" were live streaming while they were targeting and the mobile they were using was confiscated.

 

Jihan Awad correspondent of "Palestine Today" was beaten and confiscated her phone, and Ahmed Youssef from the "Ultra Palestine" site was beaten and prevented from filming while he was live streaming,

(Nisreen Al-Mayadeen correspondent, Saed Hawari Reuters cameraman, Munther al-Khatib, photographer of Al-Ghad TV channel, Yara Al-Amleh, correspondent of Al-Arabi TV channel, Jihad Barakat, Hisham Abu Shakra Abbas Momani, photographer of Al-Quds TV, Alaa Rimawi,  Quttaiba Hamad and Mohammad Hamayel were all prevented from coverage. And were forced to leave the place under insults and threats, besides attempts to confiscate equipment cameras mobiles, some of the security services were dressed in civil and were also assaulting journalists, besides to arresting two foreign journalists, Turkish and American.

 

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) is gravely concerned regarding the widespread attacks that constituted a flagrant violation of the freedom of the expression and the right to peaceful demonstration, MADA demands for an urgent independent investigation into all case of violations to ensure accountability of those who committed these attacks or officials behind them.