Hamas arrests Fatah journalists in Gaza Strip

Palestinian journalists condemn Hamas for arresting colleagues in Gaza, call for their immediate release.

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January 23, 2013 05:07
1 minute read.
Palestinians wearing Hamas, Fatah masks

Palestinians wearing Hamas, Fatah masks 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ismail Zaydah)

 
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Palestinian journalists on Tuesday condemned Hamas for arresting some of their colleagues in the Gaza Strip and called for their immediate release.

Hamas did not say why the journalists had been arrested.

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Most of the journalists who were arrested are affiliated with Fatah.

Hamas security officers raided the homes of the journalists early Tuesday and took them into custody. A number of other reporters were arrested after being summoned for interrogation by Hamas security authorities.

Among those arrested is Juma’a Abu Shomar, who works for the Voice of Freedom radio station. Hamas security officers raided his home and detained his father and uncles, demanding that Abu Shomar hand himself in.

Hamas also arrested on Tuesday Muneer al-Munairawi, the administrative director of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in the Gaza Strip, as well as journalists Ashraf Abu Khsaiwan and Mustafa Migdad.

Earlier, Hamas security forces also arrested reporters Abdel Karim Hijji and Hussein Abdul Jawwad after summoning them for interrogation.



The PLO’s Information and Culture Department condemned the crackdown on the journalists in the Gaza Strip and called on Hamas to release them immediately. The department described the arrests as a serious assault on freedom of speech and human rights.

“We condemn the assault on public freedoms, which harms the basic human rights of Palestinians,” it said in a statement.

“The arrests also harm the image of our people, our institutions and our democratic state.”

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in the West Bank also denounced the crackdown, saying it coincided with Hamas’s efforts to intimidate journalists.

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