Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Promising Freedom, Hamas Pressures Journalists

It is truly worrying that Hamas is placing restrictions on the press. This must be stopped. It is an issue we will take up:

Rafi Dajani sent us a note of this piece in which the New York Times is taking a look at the restrictions facing journalists in Gaza imposed by Hamas.

GAZA CITY, Sept. 4 — During the first Fatah protest rally at Friday Prayer here late last month, a number of Palestinian journalists trying to cover the event were beaten by the Hamas police force. Some journalists were arrested and their cameras seized, prompting complaints from the Gaza branch of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate.
The next night, at about 10 p.m., Hamas police officers entered Sakher Abu El Oun’s courtyard, preparing to arrest him. Mr. Abu El Oun, a reporter for Agence France-Presse and head of the union here, telephoned a colleague.
“I called one journalist who sent out an SMS,” he said, referring to a text message, “and within minutes, about 70 journalists and some human rights activists came to my house and prevented them from taking me away. My kids were crying. It was a very ugly picture.”


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