Ramallah - (11/6/2020) - Tulkarem Magistrate Court today extended the detention of the journalist and field researcher at “MADA” Center Sami Al-Sa’i for a period of 15 days pending the investigation.
The Public Prosecution charged the journalist with more than one charge based on the Cybercrime Law, which relates in its entirety to publishing news on social media pages.
MADA's lawyer, Firas Karajeh, who is following the issue of Sami’s arrest and attended the court session today, said that these actions are among the freedom of expression and the practice of journalistic work. In addition, the journalist Sami Al-Sa’i denied any connection with the publications that were attributed to him, and said that his arrest distorts and harms him, and demanded his release, but the judge decided to extend the arrest for 15 days.
The court’s decision stated “checking the request for extending the arrest and plead the prosecution with it, what came from the response of the accused agent, the nature of the charges assigned to the accused, and in order to enable the Public Prosecution to complete the investigation, the court decides to respond to the request of the Public Prosecution and extend the arrest of the accused for a period of 15 days in Tulkarem prison”.
The Palestinian security forces arrested Sami Al-Sa’i from the center of Tulkarem yesterday (Tuesday 9/6/2020) and he was presented to the Public Prosecution yesterday (Wednesday 10/6/2020), which extended his detention for 48 hours. However, today (Thursday) his detention will be extended for 15 days.
Journalist Sami Al-Sa’i expressed to MADA’s lawyer his concern and fears of being subjected to physical or psychological abuse during his detention and interrogation, especially since he was previously exposed to this in a previous arrest.
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms "MADA” condemns the arrest of Al-Sa’i, calls for his release, and warns of being subjected to torture, as happened in February 2017 (https://www.madacenter.org/en/article/1092/). Also, MADA renews its demand for the necessity of working to amend the Cybercrime Law that exploits some of its articles, especially Article 39, to pursue journalists and activists, which affect media freedoms and freedom of expression.