Palestinian FM Riad Malki at UNESCO 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)
The Palestinian reporter who was arrested this week by PA security forces for
reporting about corruption in its diplomatic mission in France has gone on a
hunger strike, Palestinian journalists said Thursday.
On Wednesday, a PA
court in Ramallah remanded Youssef Al- Shayeb, who works for the Jordanian daily
Al-Ghad newspaper, into custody for 15 days, .
Al-Shayeb was detained for
interrogation following a complaint filed against him by PA Foreign Minister
Riyad al-Maliki and the head of the diplomatic mission in
“Al-Shayeb has gone on a hunger strike to protest against his
arbitrary detention,” a Palestinian journalist in Ramallah said.
the detention as an assault on freedom of expression in the Palestinian
Another journalist said that the detention of Al-Shayeb was
aimed at sending a warning to all reporters who dare to criticize the PA
government or report about cases of corruption.
“In the coming days we
will launch a campaign to demand the release of Al-Shayeb,” he told The
Jerusalem Post. “His arrest is a flagrant violation of freedom of
Several Palestinian human rights groups have also joined calls
for releasing Al-Shayeb, who faces charges of “slander and libel.”
Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms said that the “era of
imprisoning journalists belongs to the past.” The center said that there was no
reason why the journalist should remain in detention despite the charges against
The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and
Democracy also condemned the detention of Al-Shayeb.
The group said that
it was ironic that that on the same day that Al-Shayeb was taken into custody,
the PA government in Ramallah announced an Award for Freedom of Media in 2012
and invited Palestinian journalists to submit their candidacy.
Palestinian bloggers have also condemned the detention of Al-Shayeb, urging the
PA to release him immediately and unconditionally.
defended the decision to detain the journalist and accused him of “committing a
sin against the media.”
Maliki told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency
that he did not understand why Palestinian journalists were angry over the
detention of their colleague.
Accusing Al-Shayeb of publishing lies and
fabrications, the PA foreign minister said that the journalist deserved to be
He also urged Palestinian journalists to distance themselves