Ref: 114/2010


The Palestinian Center for Human
Rights (PCHR) is concerned over the confiscation of equipment of Hatem Omar,
correspondent of the Chinese News Agency, by the Internal Security Service
(ISS) in Rafah. This attack is
considered a grave violation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
and the freedom of the press, which are constitutionally guaranteed and
protected under the relevant international standards.


According to investigation conducted
by PCHR, at approximately 17: 30 on Tuesday, 21 December 2010, two ISS’s
members intercepted Hatem Sa’di Omar, who works as a correspondent for the
Chinese News Agency, after he was doing his job at Martyr Abu Yusef al-Najjar
Hospital in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. The ISS’s members confiscated Omar’s camera and mobile. As a result, he left the hospital and made
many calls with officials in the government in Gaza, due to which, he took back
his camera and mobile after about an hour. Omar was covering the injuries of members of Izz Eddin al-Qassam
Brigades, the military wing of Hamas movement, as they were shelled by the
Israeli Occupation Forces in a site belonging to al-Qassam brigades in Rafah.


PCHR is concerned over confiscating
Omar’s equipment, and:


  1. Is
    concerned over the continued violations of the right to freedom of opinion
    and expression and press freedoms. It emphasizes on the necessity of the right to protection of
    journalists and media, and taking the necessary measures to enable them
    perform their work freely in confirmation on the right to freedom of
    opinion and press freedoms;
  2. Emphasizes
    that the right to freedom of opinion and expression are guaranteed under
    the Palestinian Basic Law and international human rights standards; and
  3. Calls
    upon the Palestinian security services to respect the international human
    rights standards, the Basic Law of the Palestinian National Authority and
    the relevant laws.