PA defends detention of dissenting journalists (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 04/02/12)
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The PA defended on Sunday its crackdown on Palestinian journalists
and said it was acting in accordance with the law.
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, meanwhile, called for the
release of two Palestinian journalists whom PA security forces
arrested last week in the West Bank.
Accusing the PA of violating media freedoms, the syndicate demanded
the immediate release of reporters Youssef Al-Shayeb and Esmat Abdel
Khalik, who were arrested separately.
Al-Shayeb was arrested for exposing corruption in the Palestinian
diplomatic mission in France, while Abdel Khalik, a prominent female
journalist and blogger, was taken into custody for posting comments
on Facebook against PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
“Throwing a female journalist into prison is a dangerous precedent
and a violation of all society traditions,” the syndicate said in a
statement published in Ramallah. “This is also a real setback for
The detention of the two journalists has been extended for 15 days
pending their trial.
PA Attorney-General Ahmed Al-Mughni, announced Sunday that his
government has no problem arresting journalists who “break the law.”
The PA does not pursue or harass journalists, Al-Mughni told
reporters in Ramallah.
“When we receive a complaint, we take the necessary legal measures,”
According to the attorney-general, Al-Shayeb published an
investigative report in a Jordanian newspaper that was based on lies
He said that Al-Shayeb will be charged with slander and defamation
following a complaint against him by PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-
Maliki and the staff at the Palestinian mission in France.
When Al-Shayeb failed to reveal the sources for his report, he was
summoned for interrogation and later ordered to be held in detention,
Al-Shayeb’s colleagues said over the weekend that he has gone on a
hunger strike in protest against his arrest.
Referring to the case of Abdel Khalik, the attorney-general accused
her of posting comments on Facebook against Abbas.
He said that one of the comments read: “Down with the traitor Mahmoud
Another comment, according to Al-Mughni, denounced Abbas as a
fascist. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/02/12)
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