On World Press Freedom Day 2016, Occupation Forces Continue to Detain Palestinian Journalists

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03 May 2016

Ramallah- 03/05/2016 – On the occasion of World Freedom Press Freedom Day 2016, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association confirms that the occupation forces continue to violate the rights of Palestinian journalists. Currently, there are approximately 20 Palestinian journalists in occupation prisons.

Palestinian journalists continue to face harassment, threats, arrests, and intimidation by occupation forces. For example, on 23 April 2016, occupation forces  arrested journalist Omar Nazzal, a member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, and president of the Democratic Journalists Union, while he was en route to participation in the European Federation of Journalists General Meeting. The Military Commander subsequently issued an administrative detention order against journalist Omar Nazzal on 02 May 2016.

Occupation forces also arrested journalist and human rights activist Hasan Safadi while he was crossing Al Karameh Bridge on Sunday  (01/05/2016) where he was detained and then was transferred to Al Moskobiyyeh Interrogation Center. A hearing was held on 02/05/2016 at the Magistrate Court in Jerusalem, during which the judge decided to extend the detention period for seven additional days to allow for interrogation, to end on Sunday, 08/05/2016.

The occupation authorities carry out these practices in criminalizing the work of journalists in exposing the daily crimes of the occupation against Palestinians, despite international standards that guarantee the freedom of expression and the rights to free speech, as well as the internationally codified freedom to carry out their professions – in violation of article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees each individual’s right to work in the freedom to choice their profession.

Addameer considers arresting and detaining journalists a crime that violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, as well as article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that every individual has the right to their own opinions as well as the freedom of expression, namely the “freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”