Friday, September 12, 2008

The PA Thugs Are After Journalists: PA Mukhabarat abducts journalist minutes after he was set free

From Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank

"Masked men affiliated with the Palestinian Authority (PA) Mukhabarat or General Intelligence on Friday nabbed a Palestinian journalist minutes after he was released from jail in the northern West Bank town of Qalqilya, the journalist’s family and lawyer said.

The Palestinian High Court of Justice last week ordered Mustafa Sabri “immediately released” from a protracted detention by the Military Intelligence (MI), one of a myriad of security agencies operating in the West Bank under the Israeli occupation. However, the MI refused to heed the court order without any explanation.

On Friday, 12 September, Sabri was finally set free, ending more than 45 days of what his lawyer described as arbitrary incarceration.

However, as soon as the 42-year-old journalist left the MI lockup, heading home, a group of masked men ganged up on him, forcing him into an awaiting car, and then took him to an unknown destination, his wife said.

A few hours later, his family found out that he was being detained at the Mukhabarat headquarters in downtown Qaliqilya.

“I think they only wanted to demonstrate how mean and cruel they are,” his wife said. She pointed out that her husband was being tormented and harassed for his political orientation and religiosity.....

Sabri is an elected member of the Qalqiya municipal council. The bulk of the council’s members are associated with the Palestinian Islamic movement.

Last month, the PA incarcerated for an entire month another Palestinian journalist, Awadh Rajoub, in connection with news reports he had been writing for Rajoub said he was subjected to many forms of mistreatment at the Preventive Security Force (PSF) lockup in Hebron.

It is widely believed that the main purpose behind the frequent arrest of journalists in the West Bank is to make them exercise self-censorship."

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