Journalist Support Committee denounces the escalation of sentences of detained journalists
The Journalist Support Committee (JSC) expressed its deep concern at the escalation of sentences and the Israeli imposition of incitement and accusations against journalists and Palestinian media outlets, condemning the arrest of journalist Yousef Shalabi.
The military court of Ofer sentenced journalist Yousef Shalabi (26 years old), who works as a freelancer with numerous agencies and media sites, to a year and a half in prison. The Israeli forces, previously, have stormed the journalist's house on March 23, 2017, and conducted a full inspection of his place before taking him to investigation. After six months of arrest, the court sentenced the journalist to 18 months imprisonment.
In the light of this, the Journalist Support Committee, in accordance with its monthly and semi-annual reports, reported that the Israeli Forces extended the detention, upholding sentences, postponing trails, since the beginning of 2017, for more than 43 journalists, including the extending the administrative arrests of journalists for several times, noting that 28 journalists still languish in Israeli jails.
The Committee highlighted that after the issuance of the actual prison sentence of journalist Shalabi, the number of journalists arrested in the occupation's prisons increased to eight journalists, and are as follows: Mahmoud Issa, Salah Awad, Ahmed Saifi, Samer Abu Eisha, Saleh Al Zaghari, Hamam Atili, Mohamad Al Batroukh, Assem Mustafa Al Shenar, Yousef Shalabi.
The Committee also reported that five journalists were still being held administratively without charge, and are as follows: Hassan Al Safadi, Nidal Abu Aker, Mohammad Al Qaiq, Hammam Hintash and Ahmad Qatamish.
As for the largest number of journalists detained, the committee stated that the Israeli courts are holding 15 detained journalists and deliberately postponing their trial several times under vague pretexts, and are as follows: The sick journalist Bassam Al-Sayeh, Ahmad Darwish, Mohammad Akram Al Sous, Nidal Omar, Montaser Nassar, Hamed Al Namoura, Abedallah Shatat, Mus'ab Sa'id, Ayoub Sawan, Mahmoud Abu HashHash, Saeed Ayyash, Ahmad Al Safadi, Radwan Qutani, Imar Al Amour and Ibrahim Al Abed.
The Committee calls upon the international federation of journalists, international and legal organizations working in the field of human rights to intervene quickly to protect Palestinian journalists from these serious violations that threaten their lives both during their coverage of events in the Palestinian territories or in the Israeli jails.
The Committee warned of the continued international silence on continuing violations of the Israeli forces that violate all the conventions and charters concerning journalists' freedom of action and movement.
Finally, the Committee urged the UN Security Council to promptly implement its resolution 2222 on protecting journalists and restraining the occupation from its detention policy, extensions, delays and convictions without any serious charges against journalists.
Journalist Support Committee - Palestine
17 September 2017