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MADA condemns the continued detention and torture of journalist Hazem Nasser in the Jericho prison

Ramallah (5th March 2019) - the District Public Prosecution in Jericho has extended the detention of An-Najah TV reporter, the journalist Hazem Imad Nasser, on Tuesday, corresponding 5th March 2019. When he was brought before the Public Prosecution, in the presence of MADA Lawyer, Nasser reported that he was subject to torture and suspended strappado during the investigation in Jericho Prison.

The Palestinian Intelligence Service has arrested Hazem Nasser from his house located in Iktaba, Tulkarem, at dawn on Sunday corresponding 3rd March 2019, and took him to the Central Investigation Office in Jericho Prison.

MADA lawyer reported that on Tuesday, corresponding 5th March 2019, the detention of the journalist Hazem Nasser was extended for another 48 hours, and that on the hearing he was accused of “armaments possession and trade” but the journalist denied the charge and informed the Prosecution office that he has never heard of such charge except in the Public Prosecution office. He added that during the two days of his detention, he was mostly questioned about his involvement in a demonstration that took place in December 2018 in Tulkarem, even though he was summoned before and questioned about this demonstration. He denied taking part in the said demonstration as he was not in Tulkarem then and that even if he was there he “will be sent by his institution to cover the event”.

Nasser reported to the Public Prosecution that on Tuesday, during the investigation, he was subject to torture and suspended strappado. He filed an official complaint on this regard and he also announced that he was on a food strike starting from Monday, corresponding 4th March 2019.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) expresses its concern over the extensive increase of arrests and detention, the most recent of which was the arrest of journalist Amer Abdel Hakim Abu Arafa from his house located in Hebron on Monday evening corresponding 4th March 2019. It also expressed its concern over the repeated torture and abuse of many Journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as is the case with Tawfiq Abu Jarrad, who was subjected to abuse and torture during his arrest by the Internal Security Forces in Gaza recently, as he was forced to stand for hours with his face against the wall while in detention.

As MADA condemns the detention of Hazem Imad Nasser and the torture subject to (according to what he has reported before the Public Prosecution), it would like to point out to the fact the detention extension for 48 hours constitutes a violation of the Palestinian Law as the Public Prosecution cannot extend his detention twice for 48 hours. MADA is demanding to put an end to abusing the journalist Hazem Nasser and to release him.