Journalist detained by PA goes on hunger strike (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 03/30/12)
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The Palestinian reporter who was arrested this week by PA security
forces for reporting about corruption in its diplomatic mission in
France has gone on a hunger strike, Palestinian journalists said
On Wednesday, a PA court in Ramallah remanded Youssef Al- Shayeb, who
works for the Jordanian daily Al-Ghad newspaper, into custody for 15
Al-Shayeb was detained for interrogation following a complaint filed
against him by PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and the head of
the diplomatic mission in Paris.
“Al-Shayeb has gone on a hunger strike to protest against his
arbitrary detention,” a Palestinian journalist in Ramallah said.
“We see the detention as an assault on freedom of expression in the
Another journalist said that the detention of Al-Shayeb was aimed at
sending a warning to all reporters who dare to criticize the PA
government or report about cases of corruption.
“In the coming days we will launch a campaign to demand the release
of Al-Shayeb,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “His arrest is a flagrant
violation of freedom of speech.”
Several Palestinian human rights groups have also joined calls for
releasing Al-Shayeb, who faces charges of “slander and libel.”
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms said that
the “era of imprisoning journalists belongs to the past.” The center
said that there was no reason why the journalist should remain in
detention despite the charges against him.
The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and
Democracy also condemned the detention of Al-Shayeb.
The group said that it was ironic that that on the same day that Al-
Shayeb was taken into custody, the PA government in Ramallah
announced an Award for Freedom of Media in 2012 and invited
Palestinian journalists to submit their candidacy.
Several Palestinian bloggers have also condemned the detention of Al-
Shayeb, urging the PA to release him immediately and unconditionally.
Maliki, meanwhile, defended the decision to detain the journalist and
accused him of “committing a sin against the media.”
Maliki told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency that he did not
understand why Palestinian journalists were angry over the detention
of their colleague.
Accusing Al-Shayeb of publishing lies and fabrications, the PA
foreign minister said that the journalist deserved to be punished.
He also urged Palestinian journalists to distance themselves from Al-
Shayeb. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 03/30/12)
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