A PA court in Ramallah on Wednesday ordered a Palestinian journalist who
reported about corruption in the Palestinian embassy in France to be remanded
into custody for 15 days.
The journalist, Yousef Al-Shayeb, was detained earlier
this week following complaints filed against him by the head of the embassy and
PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki.
Al-Shayeb, who works for the Jordanian
daily newspaper Al-Ghad, published an investigative report earlier this year in
which he claimed that the head of the embassy and his deputy were involved in
various corruption cases. The report also said that Palestinian diplomats in
Paris had been trying to recruit Palestinian students to spy on Islamic groups
Al-Shayeb’s detention drew sharp criticism from Palestinian
journalists and human rights groups, who accused the PA of violating media
freedoms in the West Bank.
PA officials said the journalist was detained
after he refused to reveal the sources of his information.
Daoud Darawi, said that it was the Palestinian media, and not only Al-Shayeb,
that was being put on trial.
Darawi said that Palestinian law protects
journalists against prosecution and grants them the right not to disclose their
The lawyer said his client was planning to reveal documents
which he relied on during his work on the investigative report.
Palestinian journalists staged a sit-in strike in front of the court during
Wednesday’s hearing and called for the release of Al-Shayeb.
journalists carried signs calling on the PA to respect freedom of expression and
stop its “transgressions” against reporters.
The Palestinian Writers
Union condemned the detention of Al-Shayeb as a “dangerous precedent” and urged
Palestinians to raise their voice against the crackdown on freedom of