Ref: 26/2012

 

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
condemns the interception of a correspondent of al-Aqsa Satellite Channel and a
crew of Media Modern Company, the beating of one of the staff, and the
confiscation of their cameras and ID cards, by members of the Palestinian
Preventive Security Service (PSS) in Ramallah. The attack occurred after the
media staff had completed a work assignment in Bir Zeit village.  PCHR considers this attack a violation of the
right to freedom of opinion and expression and media freedoms guaranteed under
domestic laws and international human rights instruments.

 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR
and a statement of Mohammed Eshtaiwi, Correspondent of al-Aqsa Satellite
Channel which is connected to Hamas, at approximately 13:00 on Tuesday, 28
February 2012, Eshtaiwi and a crew of Media Modern Company, which has a
contract with the al-Aqsa Satellite Channel, comprised of Mahmoud Mohammed
al-Dumairi and Waleed Ma’moun ‘Othan, concluded coverage of a press conference
held by the Islamic Bloc in Bir Zeit University, north of Ramallah.  While they were traveling towards Ramallah in
a car belonging to the Media Modern Company, a taxi intercepted them near Best
Eastern Hotel.  Six persons stepped out
of the car and opened the journalists’ car. 
They forcibly took the camera from al-Dumairi after a arguing with
him.  When ‘Othman intervened to defend
his college, he was beaten.  The six
persons introduced themselves as members of the PSS.  The confiscated the ID cards of the three
journalists and ordered them to travel to the PSS headquarters in Bir Zeit
village.  When the journalists were
approximately 50 meters removed from the said headquarters Eshtayeh stepped
down from the car and left the area while the other two journalists proceeded
towards the headquarters. Three hours later, following the intervention of a
number of figures, Eshtaiwi was informed that he could refer to the PSS
headquarter to get back his ID card. 

 

PCHR condemns the PSS’s attack on the
journalists, and:

 

1. Calls for
providing protection to journalists and media personnel and taking necessary
measures to allow them to work freely, in order to realize the right to freedom
of opinion and expression and press freedoms;

2. Stresses
that the right to freedom of opinion and expression and press freedoms are
ensured under domestic laws and international human rights instruments; and

3. Calls upon
Palestinian security services to respect international human rights standards,
the Palestinian Basic Law and other relevant laws.