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Israeli forces accused of manipulating own laws to repress freedom of information


The International Federation of Journalists is protesting charges filed by the Israeli Attorney General against Palestinian journalists after they broadcast information that is subject to military censorship. Khader Shaheen and Mohammad Sarhan are accused of "aiding the enemy" for broadcasting news regarding tank movement. The issue regards the early stages of the ground invasion of the northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli administration has banned the entrance of foreign journalists to the Strip since before the attacks of the past 20 days, claiming to have "lifted the ban" by accepting eight hand-picked journalists to report from within chosen Israeli military installations...

[50854]



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Israeli forces accused of manipulating own laws to repress freedom of information

PNN

Jan 15, 2009

Ramallah / PNN - The International Federation of Journalists is protesting charges filed by the Israeli Attorney General against Palestinian journalists after they broadcast information that is subject to military censorship.

Khader Shaheen and Mohammad Sarhan are accused of "aiding the enemy" for broadcasting news regarding tank movement.

The issue regards the early stages of the ground invasion of the northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli administration has banned the entrance of foreign journalists to the Strip since before the attacks of the past 20 days, claiming to have "lifted the ban" by accepting eight hand-picked journalists to report from within chosen Israeli military installations.

General Secretary of the IFJ, Aidan White, commented on the Israeli "hypocrisy and double standards" employed. "While Israel is using the law for the military to impose its laws on journalists, it ignores the implementation of the decisions of the Israeli High Court ordered to allow journalists to enter Gaza."

Shaheen, 34, and Sarhan, 26, were working for Al Alam Television in Ramallah from where they broadcast a report on the spread of Israeli forces in Gaza without the permission of Israeli military media censors.

The Israeli Attorney General has claimed that the report caused them hard because it was broadcast on Arab channels that "could be seen in the Gaza Strip, including by Hamas fighters."

White of the IFJ said, "These accusations are a direct blow to Israel's claim that the ban on the entry of foreign journalists to Gaza was on the basis of concerns for their security. The real reason is the strong determination of Israel to deny information about the work of Israel in the Gaza Strip."

The Israeli government engages in routine, and well-documented, oppression of journalists, Palestinian and foreign, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.





:: Article nr. 50854 sent on 15-jan-2008 15:47 ECT

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