PA Police 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The PA defended on Sunday its crackdown on Palestinian journalists and said it
was acting in accordance with the law.
The Palestinian Journalists
Syndicate, meanwhile, called for the release of two Palestinian journalists whom
PA security forces arrested last week in the West Bank.
Accusing the PA
of violating media freedoms, the syndicate demanded the immediate release of
reporters Youssef Al-Shayeb and Esmat Abdel Khalik, who were arrested
Al-Shayeb was arrested for exposing corruption in the
Palestinian diplomatic mission in France, while Abdel Khalik, a prominent female
journalist and blogger, was taken into custody for posting comments on Facebook
against PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
“Throwing a female journalist into
prison is a dangerous precedent and a violation of all society traditions,” the
syndicate said in a statement published in Ramallah. “This is also a real
setback for Palestinian journalists.”
The detention of the two
journalists has been extended for 15 days pending their trial.
Attorney-General Ahmed Al-Mughni, announced Sunday that his government has no
problem arresting journalists who “break the law.”
The PA does not pursue
or harass journalists, Al-Mughni told reporters in Ramallah.
receive a complaint, we take the necessary legal measures,” he
According to the attorney-general, Al-Shayeb published an
investigative report in a Jordanian newspaper that was based on lies and
He said that Al-Shayeb will be charged with slander and
defamation following a complaint against him by PA Foreign Minister Riyad
al-Maliki and the staff at the Palestinian mission in France.
Al-Shayeb failed to reveal the sources for his report, he was summoned for
interrogation and later ordered to be held in detention, Al-Mughni
Al-Shayeb’s colleagues said over the weekend that he has gone on a
hunger strike in protest against his arrest.
Referring to the case of
Abdel Khalik, the attorney-general accused her of posting comments on Facebook
He said that one of the comments read: “Down with the
traitor Mahmoud Abbas.”
Another comment, according to Al-Mughni,
denounced Abbas as a fascist.