IDF arrests dir-gen of Palestinian Prisoner Channel

Soldiers raid the home of Baha Musa, 38, confiscating computers, equipment; Palestinian prisoners minister condemns arrest.

May 17, 2012 14:06
2 minute read.
Palestinian Prisoner Channel logo

Palestinian Prisoner Channel logo_370. (photo credit: Courtesy Facebook Page )


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IDF troops arrested the 38-year-old director-general of the Palestinian Prisoner Channel from his home in the West Bank village of Marka on Thursday.

"The Israeli occupying forces raided the home of the director-general of the Palestinian Prisoner Channel, Mr. Baha Khairy Attalah Musa, who lives in the village of Marka located south of Jenin," a comment on the station's Facebook page announced shortly after 11:30 a.m.

During the raid of his home, IDF soldiers also confiscated computers and technical equipment used to broadcast the channel's programming, according to the statement.

"The Prisoner Channel staff condemns this aggressive action by the brutal occupation, which will affect the station's programming and its mission," the statement said, noting that the Prisoner Channel is an independent organization that is not affiliated with any political group.

A scan of the station's Facebook page reveals that while the majority of the comments posted relate to the issue of Palestinian prisoners, some comments and posted photographs call for the Palestinian "right of return."

One comment posted by the administrator wished that "God willing, Israel will disappear from all Palestinian soil."

The Facebook page itself was created on February 19, two days before former Palestinian prisoner, Khader Adnan, who is widely accredited with helping inspire the recent hunger strike movement among Palestinian prisoners, was released, and three days after Adnan's lawyers petitioned the High Court of Justice to free him.

In its most recent remark, the station's page called for Musa's freedom, and for the "freedom of prisoners."

The IDF raid of Marka's home occurred in the early morning hours on Thursday, members of his family told Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds. Soldiers took Musa to an undisclosed location after they searched his home and conducted an initial interrogation.

Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Minister Issa Qaraqe called the arrest illegal and arbitrary.

The channel "was operating legally in the territory under the [Palestinian] Authority," he said.

Musa's arrest came days after Israel and Palestinian prisoners agreed to a deal that ended a 28-day mass hunger strike that including some 1,600 prisoners protesting against solitary confinement, the suspension of family visits, and administrative detention.

The station's legal adviser has "initiated legal proceedings against this unjustified action, which is contrary to law," a spokesperson for the Prisoner Channel told Al-Quds.

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