Gaza police assault and arrest Al-Jazeera journalist

Muhammed Fayyad was taking pictures at the Gazan Ministry of Endowments at the time of the assault.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 19, 2015 09:16
1 minute read.
Niña palestina celebra el aniversario número 27 de Hamás(Credito: REUTERS)

Niña palestina celebra el aniversario número 27 de Hamás(Credito: REUTERS). (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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A Palestinian journalist covering a Turkish minister's visit to the Gaza Strip has accused Palestinian police of physically assaulting him on Sunday.

Muhammed Fayyad, a reporter for Al-Jeezera, told the Palestinian Journalists' Union that he was physically assaulted by multiple police officers at the Gazan Ministry of Endowments after asking why a plain-clothes security guard had shoved him while he took pictures of the minister's visit.

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Fayyad added that he "was struck on the head by a police officer" as he was being taken out of the building, according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an.

Fayyad then went to the police station to file a formal complaint, yet was shocked to find that authorities had already issued an arrest order against him.

He was briefly taken to al-Shifa hospital before being formally arrested, complaining that he was beginning to feel the effects of his earlier assault.

In light of the event, the Ministry of Internal Affairs released a statement that said, "during the Turkish minister of endowment's visit... some journalists caused chaos and a disturbance that misrepresented our people's image and embarrassed those responsible for the visit's agenda," Ma'an reported.

The statement went on to say: "Accordingly, security men intervened to control the situation, leading to the arrest of the Al-Jazeera reporter after he verbally abused and disturbed the security men's job and did not commit to the visit's arrangements.

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"The journalist was later released until an investigation of the incident is complete and legal procedures may be taken," the statement said.

In response, the journalists' union demanded that security services within the coastal enclave cease all actions against Fayyad, and asked Hamas to stop all violations against journalists.

The Gaza Center for Press Freedom reported hundreds of "violations of press freedom" that have taken place in Gaza in the past year alone, in what was the deadliest year for Palestinian journalists on record, according to Ma'an.

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