PNN: Nonviolent Demonstration for Release of Journalist

12 March 2008

Palestine News Network: for the original article click here

Bethlehem / Najib Farrag – Dozens of Palestinian journalists demonstrated on Wednesday morning at Bethlehem’s Church of Nativity in protest of the Israeli arrest of journalist Hassan Abdel Jawad.

The 53 year old is a member of the board of the Palestinian Journalists Union and also a local newspaper correspondent. Abdel Jawad is currently being held in the Israeli military prison Ofar, built on Ramallah lands.

His arrest came when six members of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine political party were blindfolded, bound and taken away on Monday morning.

Among the demonstrators this morning was Bethlehem Mayor Dr. Victor Batarsa, several police officials, and Palestinian Legislative Council member, Issa Qaraqa’.

They called not only for the release of the journalist, but for all political prisoners.

Head of the Palestinian Journalists Union, Naim Toubassi, said that the arrest of Abdel Jawad is the latest proof of the Israeli “policy of repression and harassment, not only against political activists, but also against journalists who transmit the truth and exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression.”

Toubassi commended the sacrifices made by Palestinian journalists in continuing to work in the face of “Israel’s continued aggression of decades, including all of the tools of repression, prosecution and punishment.” All journalists pay a high price for their work, he said, “including being killed, injured and imprisoned.”

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”