Silencing the Voices: Arrest and Detention of Palestinian Journalists

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20 June 2016

Silencing the Voices: Arrest and Detention of Palestinian Journalists

The UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders defines human rights defenders as individuals who play an important role in furthering the cause of human rights through activities such as the documentation of violations, providing support and assistance to victims seeking remedies, combating cultures of impunity and mainstreaming human rights culture and information on an international and domestic level. Human Rights Defenders in the occupied Palestinian territory face various types of harassment and rights violations by the occupation forces, irrespective of the protection afforded to them in international conventions, and particularly the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Since October 2015, the occupation forces intensified prosecution of human rights defenders in the occupied Palestinian territory, aiming to silence them and punish them for their role in exposing violations and crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people.

The Israeli occupation forces arrested 8 Palestinian journalists since the beginning of 2016, bringing the number of journalists detained in Israeli jails to 21 journalists. These arrests and prosecutions reached dozens of correspondents, local cameramen, photographers, as well as members of the press, many of whom were detained under administrative detention orders; this includes Addameer colleague and Media Coordinator Hasan Safadi, who was arrested on 01/05/2016 while crossing Al-Karameh bridge and was placed under administrative detention, after 40 days of interrogation. Additionally, Omar Nazzal was also arrested while en route to participation in the European Federation of Journalists General Meeting on 23/04/2016. Mr. Nazzal was placed under administrative detention set to end on 22 August 2016. This shows how journalists are being targeted due to their efforts to document Israeli violations, including its practices of land confiscation, house demolitions and movement restrictions on the Palestinian population.

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association condemns the continued and systematic targeting and arrests of journalists. Addameer considers journalists to be human rights defenders in accordance with the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, which characterizes the following as activities of human rights defenders: (a) Collecting and disseminating information on violations; (b) investigating, gathering information regarding and report on human rights violations; (c) investigating and reporting on violations to help end ongoing violations. Thus, the persecution of journalists hinders dissemination of information on human rights violations currently taking place in occupied Palestine, and constitutes repression of press freedom as well as freedom of speech.    

Following is a table of journalists arrested by occupation forces until 20 June 2016: 

Name

Place of Residence

Place of Work

Type of Arrest

Date of Arrest

Ahmad Fathi Khatib

Tulkarem

Photo in Al-Aqsa Channel

Administrative Detention

04/07/2014

Hammam Atili

Tulkarem

Media Student in Najah National University

Charges

12/08/2014

Ali Oweiwi

Hebron

 

Administrative Detention

21/10/2015

Mujahed Al-Sadi

Jeinen

Correspondent for Palestine Today TV

Detained

12/01/2016

Mohammed Mahmoud Issa

Jerusalem

Correspondent for Sawt Al-Haq Wal Hurriya

Life sentence

1993

Salah Addin Awwad

Nablus

Director  of the media department at Prisoners’ Club

7 years

2011

Anan Samir Ajawi

Jenin

 

3 years and a half

16/01/2013

Ahmad Al-Saifi

Ramallah

Media Student at Birzeit University

19 years

19/08/2009

Walid Khaled

Salfit

Director of Palestine Newspaper

4 years

10/03/2013

Qutayba Qasem

Hebron

Correspondent for Asda’a Al-Sahafi

Detained

10/12/2014

Amir Abu Hleil

Hebron

Media Student at Al-Quds University

Detained  

25/01/2015

Mohammad Atta

Ramallah

Media Student at Al-Quds University

Detained

27/01/2015

Sami Al-Sa’ai

Tulkarem

Correspondent for Fajr Al-Mahali

Administrative Detention

09/03/2016

Samah Dweik

Jerusalem

Hurra

Detained

10/04/2016

Musab Qafisheh

Hebron

Media Student

Administrative Detention

29/03/2016

Omar Nazzal

Ramallah

Freelancer

Administrative Detention

23/04/2016

Hasan Safadi

Jerusalem

Addameer Media Coordinator

Administrative Detention

01/05/2016

Bassam Al-Sayeh

Nablus

 

Detained

08/10/2015

Adeeb Al-Atrash

Hebron

Freelancer

Detained

20/06/2016

Nasser Khaseb

Ramallah

Lecturer at Birzeit University

Detained

20/06/2016