Award-winning Palestinian journalist forced into hiding


Majdoleen Hassouneh (Courtesy)

Majdoleen Hassouneh

An award-winning Palestinian female journalist has been forced to go into hiding out of fear of being arrested by Zionist puppets Palestinian Authority security  for covering a sit-in strike. Over the weekend, the PA’s Zionist Puppet Preventive Security Force ‘ZPPSF’ in the West Bank arrested her two brothers in an attempt to put pressure on her to turn herself in.

The journalist, Majdoleen Hassouneh, has twice refused to report for interrogation at the headquarters of ZPPSF in Nablus.

Hassouneh’s friends and colleagues have launched a Facebook campaign in solidarity with her and in protest against the Puppets Ab-A$$ government’s measures against Palestinian journalists and freedom of the media.

Hassouneh, a graduate of An-Najah University in Nablus, is the recipient of the best investigative reporter award from the ThomasFoundation for an investigation into the medical field in the Palestinian territories.

Last week, she received a phone call from a Zionist PPSF who demanded that she report immediately at the headquarters of the apparatus in Nablus.

When she failed to show up, the ZPPSF sent her a written summons asking her to report for questioning on Saturday morning.

The letter warned that she would be arrested if she failed to show up.

Hassouneh, who lives in Beit Umrin, near Nablus, announced that she would not go to the security headquarters and described the invitation as an attempt to restrict her freedom of expression.

She said that the ZPPSF was trying to force her to sign a document that would limit her freedom of expression as a working journalist.

A number of Palestinian journalists said they have already been asked by ZPPSF in the West Bank to sign similar documents where they pledge to cover certain events.

On Saturday night, ZPPSF officers raided Hassouneh’s family home in an attempt to arrest her, but she was not there.

The officers detained her two brothers and told the family that she must report for questioning immediately.

Following the detention of her brothers, Hassouneh reiterated her refusal to report for questioning or to sign any pledge to refrain from covering issues that could reflect negatively on the ZPPSF.

“They arrested my two brothers because I wasn’t at home,” she said. “I’m not going to report for interrogation.”

Hassouneh appealed to human-rights organizations to intervene with Ab-A$$ regime in the West Bank to prevent her detention and other measures against Palestinian journalists.

Palestinian journalists expressed outrage over the targeting of Hassouneh. They too appealed to the international community to pressure the PA Zionist puppets leadership to stop targeting Palestinian journalists.

Awad Abu Dakka, deputy chairman of the Palestinian Media Association, strongly condemned the move against the female journalist and the continued harassment of other Palestinian reporters and editors.

Abu Dakka denounced the measures against Palestinian journalists as “illegal” and appealed to international human-rights groups and media outlets to expose the violations of the Palestinian media’s rights.

In response, Hassouneh asked: “If a journalist is not allowed to cover an event that happens in front of her in her city, why did the Palestinian Authority allow the protest of the families to take place outside Jneid Prison? Why is a journalist being summoned to the security forces when these forces didn’t prevent the sit-in strike?” Hassouneh’s friends and colleagues hailed her decision to challenge the muchfeared  ZPPSF as a “brave” move, but expressed concern over her safety.

One journalist pointed out that he and his colleagues have come under heavy pressure from the ZPPSF in the West Bank to refrain from reporting about stories that could embarrass Ab-A$$ leadership.

Last year, two journalists from Bethlehem were arrested by ZPPSF  security agencies – one for reporting about the dispute between Puppet Mahmoud Ab-A$$ and Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, and the second for allegedly ridiculing puppet Ab-A$$ on his Facebook page.


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