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How Palestinian Leaders ‘Guarantee’ Freedom of Expression by Khaled Abu Toameh (Gatestone Inst.)

By   /   July 29, 2019  /   No Comments

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July 29, 2019

  • The [Palestinian Committee for Supporting Journalists] revealed that there has been a “marked increase in violations against journalists by the Palestinian security forces in recent months” and said that it has documented more than 104 trespasses since the beginning of 2019.
  • Thus far, however, the new Palestinian government has dashed these hopes for basic journalistic freedom.
  • The continued crackdown on public freedoms under the Palestinian Authority means one of two things — both of which are bad news: either the prime minister has no real control over the Palestinian security forces, or he truly cares nothing about freedom of expression and unimpeded journalistic jurisdiction. Neither scenario bodes well for the future of human rights for Palestinians.

During a meeting with a Human Rights Watch (HRW) delegation last week, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh promised that no Palestinian will be arrested or prosecuted for exercising his or her freedom of expression.

“Freedom of expression is a sacred right for every citizen,” Shtayyeh was quoted as saying. “The government has guaranteed citizens the right to express their opinion through constructive criticism, whether in terms of social media or websites.”

Only one day before Shtayyeh assured the HRW delegation that his government would not crack down on Palestinians for expressing their views, however, Palestinian security forces in the West Bank arrested journalist and political

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