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Palestinian Journalist Syndicate condemns Israeli detention of reporter during protest

Feb. 22, 2018 4:22 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 26, 2018 4:23 P.M.)
Israeli soldiers detain Palestinian photojournalist Nasser Shiyuki in 2010. (AFP/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian Journalist Syndicate (PJS) released a statement on Thursday condemning Israel’s detention of Palestinian journalist Muhammad Alwan, who was detained on Wednesday while covering a protest outside the Ofer military prison in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.

Alwan has been charged with obstructing the work of a soldier as well as attacking a soldier, and was remanded into custody for 96 hours.

According to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency, witnesses and other journalists present at the protest have denied the charges brought against him, and have provided video recording that refute Israel’s claims.

Wafa highlighted that in contrary to Israel’s charges against Alwan, video shows forces violently suppressing the protest -- which was held in solidarity with imprisoned activist Munther Amira -- and targeting journalists by attempting to prevent them from filming the events.

The PJS said that Alwan’s detention and the charges brought against him “show beyond doubt the occupier’s intentions toward journalists in an attempt to prevent them from documenting and exposing the occupation practices.”

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) released a report earlier this month saying that between December 2017 and the end of January 2018, the group recorded 117 violations against Palestinian media freedoms at the hands of Israeli forces.

Palestinian journalists often describe their work as a form of “resistance,” as they believe their stories show the world the devastating effects of Israel’s policies on Palestinians and provide Palestinians an outlet for their voices in a media climate that is often overshadowed by pro-Israeli narratives.

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