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Palestinian center for media freedoms reports on Palestinian violations against journalists

The Palestinian media freedoms violations exceeded the Israeli during July
Ramallah- 5/8/2015 The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) monitored 17 violations against media freedoms during July 2015 (12 committed by Palestinian sides and 5 by the Israeli sides). These numbers show a big decrease in violations compared to June; where 48 violations were committed, yet the dangerousness of some of the violations remained the same. It was also noticed that the Palestinian violations exceeded in number the Israeli ones.
MADA condemns all types of violations against journalists, we also demand and end to these assaults and to hold those responsible accountable, we also demand respecting freedom of expression; which is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as in the Palestinian Basic Law.

Palestinian violations:
12 violations against media freedoms were committed by Palestinian sides during July (5 were committed in the West Bank and 7 in Gaza Strip).
During July, the Palestinian Security Forces arrested and detained several journalists, some others had been interrogated. It should be pointed that most of the violations are considered violent and dangerous.
On 3/7 the Palestinian Intelligence Service arrested Quds Press International correspondent Khaldoun Mazloum from Nablus. On the other side, the Internal Security Forces in Gaza interrogated the freelance journalist Tareq Al-Farra for his writings on Facebook.
On 8/7 the Palestinian Intelligence arrested Ro’ya Media cameraman Amr Halayqa, they also arrested Jana Media Production cameraman Haitham Warasne. Saraya Al-Quds (Al-Jihad Al-Islami military brigades ) assaulted Al-Risala media institute cameraman Mahmoud Abu Hasira and forced him to delete the photos he had taken for a festival. On 13/7 the Palestinian Intelligence interrogated Al-Hurriya radio anchor Ra’ed Al-Sharif and detained him for 13 hours.
The Police spokesman in Gaza threatened the journalist at Sawt Al-Sha’b Ahmad Abu Daqqa for what he broadcasts in his program. On the other hand, the military intelligence in Tulkarem summoned and interrogated the editor at Al-Fajr Al-Jadeed TV Sami Al-Sai for criticizing the police.

Violations details:

3/7- The Palestinian Intelligence Service arrested Quds Press International correspondent Khaldoun Mazloom (31 Y.O) from Nablus. His wife Ibtihal Mazloum reported to MADA: “At 1:00 AM the Palestinian Intelligence came to our house and told him that the head of the agency wants him at their headquarters, first he refused but they called the head who assured that he must come with them.”
She added: “They arrested Khaldoun without inspecting or seizing anything, they only seized his ID and his journalism card.”
After his release, Khaldoun reported to MADA: “ They detained me three days, they interrogated me for 15 minutes about my previous arrests in the Israeli jails and the Palestinian security forces. The legal consultant of the agency interrogated me about my activity on Facebook and asked me if I ever covered an event against the Palestinian Authority and I answered with no.”
“On Sunday, I appeared before the general prosecution, they accused me with sectarian strife and inciting against the authority with my writings. And they extended my detention for 48 hours, but After the interfering of the Journalist Syndicate and the President’s office I was released in the same day”.
For official reasons he went to the General prosecution office 24 hours after extending his detention period, and anew decision was issued to released him on unpaid bail 500 Jordanian Dinar(about $700).”

8/7- The Palestinian Intelligence service arrested Ro’ya Media cameraman Amr Halayqa (24 Y.O) from Hebron city, he reported to MADA: “My colleague Haitham Warasne and I were arrested by the intelligence service for 5 days; during the arrest they interrogated me about my personal life and my career. On the next day the General Prosecution extended our detention for another 48 hours and on Sunday 12/7 we had a court session and we were accused of inciting against the authority (though they did not interrogate us about this issue during the detention). We told the judge that we are journalists and we are aware of the law, plus that we do not have affiliation for any political party. The court decided that we were innocent and were released with 2000 Jordanian Dinars bail.”
8/7- The Palestinian Intelligence Service arrested Jana for Media Production cameraman Haitham Warasne (23 Y.O) from Hebron city. He reported to MADA: “I was arrested on 8/7 early in the morning and the intelligence forces seized my ID and cellphone. They interrogated me at 2 PM for 15 minutes about my career as a journalist and for whom I work, later I was sitting in an uncomfortable way until 8:00 PM; as a result; I passed out and did not regain my consciousness until someone kicked me while spraying water at me, I had spasm and was sent to the hospital for treatment.”
He added: “On Thursday I appeared to the General Prosecution; which decided to extend my detention for another 48 hours, after that I was interrogated twice on Friday and Saturday; each session lasted for one hour and were about my work, my political affiliation and my relation to some people.”
“I was later released on 2000 Jordanian Dinars bail, yet they asked me to go to the intelligence service headquarters on 23/7, when I went they gave me back my ID but my cellphone is still with them.” He added.

13/7- The Palestinian Intelligence Service arrested and interrogated the anchor at Al-Hurriya Radio Station Ra’ed Al-Sharif (26 Y.O) from Hebron city. He reported to MADA: “I received a phone call from the intelligence service telling me to go to their headquarters. I went there and they seized my ID and my cellphones, then they put me in the interrogation room from 2:30 until 6:30 without talking to me. Later, the officer came and started interrogating me about something I posted on Facebook 20 days ago about “informers” (people who work with the service) and their work, and why did I wrote this.”
He added;: “I told them that the informers deliver wrong information and many journalists are being summoned according to these wrong information. Then the officer asked me about things I do not have anything to do with.
After an hour of interrogation, they took me to the medical service to eximine my heath condition as a preparation to arrest me, then they sent me back to the detention room The Journalist Syndicate and Fatah Organization interfered “the radio director is affiliated to Fatah” I was released at 1:00 after signing my testimony and I was told to return on 22/7.”
He added: “Since the director of the Palestinian Prisoners Club and my uncle (who are friends with the officer) the summon was canceled.”

21/7- The Military intelligence service in Tulkarem city (north West Bank) summoned the editor at Al-Fajr Al-Jadeed TV Sami Al-Sai (36 Y.O) for a post he put on Facebook. Al-Sai reported to MADA: “On 21/7 I received a phone call telling me to go to the military intelligence service in Tulkarem. The phone call was received after I posted something in Facebook about security men selling gasoline coupons which are specified for official missions only.”
Al-Sai added: “I went to their headquarters the next day, the director of police who wanted to know in a friendly way the name of the police officer who sells the coupon and the driver who bought it. I told him that I bought the coupon for 100 Shekels from a person who bought it from the driver (who works at Ramallah- Nablus line) and that we do not know him, then he asked me to go with him to Nablus so that I would recognize the driver by his face but I refused.”
He said: “I offered them to give the coupon after 1 hour argument, because I feared my brother who has high police rank could be hurt.”
“At the same day evening I received a phone call from the director of Criminal Investigation in Tulkarem and who is a good friend of mine; asking me about the name of the driver who sold me the coupon, trying in a friendly way to solve the problem. Even though I refused his request; no one of the security forces harmed or talked to me after that phone call, and later I knew that they knew both the police officer and the driver.”

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