March 11, 2010 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Security forces raid journalist’s home just hours after his release

Reporters Without Borders deplores the fact that journalist Mustafa Sabri’s home in Qaliqilya, in the north of the West Bank, was raided by members of the security forces as he was about to give an interview on 9 March, just hours after he was released from prison on payment of 5,000 Jordanian dinars (5,160 euros) in bail. The newspaper Filastine’s former bureau chief, Sabri had been detained since 4 January. No date has been set for his trial. “Sabri’s release is good news, but Palestinian journalists continue to endure a harrowing environment,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The targets of arrests and raids, they are made to pay for the political tension between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Press freedom is the victim of political rivalry and score-settling in both parts of the Palestinian Territories.” After being released on the morning of 9 March, Sabri had been due to give an interview at his home at midday to Mosab Al-Khatib, the correspondent of the satellite TV station Al-Quds, and Pal Media cameraman Ashraf Abu Shawish about the role of the Palestinian Union of Journalists. As the interview was about to begin, several members of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces knocked on the door. Confiscating their video cassette and mobile phones, they forbade the journalists to carry out the interview on the grounds that they had not obtained permission. In Gaza City, individuals claiming to be members of the Hamas interior ministry’s security forces, raided the home of Noufouz Al-Bakri, the correspondent of the newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, on 7 March, a day after she criticised women’s rights violations in the Gaza Strip in an article posted online. Paul Martin, a British cameraman who had been held in Gaza City since 14 February, was released this morning and deported from the Gaza Strip via the Erez crossing into Israel. The Hamas authorities told him he is banned from returning. Martin was arrested as he was about to testify at the trial of a Palestinian friend accused of collaborating with Israel.