• Geneva - The security services in the Gaza Strip have forcibly dispersed a popular demonstration and detained several journalists while carrying out their work, condemns Euro-Med Monitor.
    Dozens of members of the government's police force have forcibly dispersed a sit-in in Khan Younis called for by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) this afternoon and attacked and detained four journalists in Gaza.
    Eyewitnesses confirmed that a number of police officers in uniform and civilian clothing, assaulted the demonstrators who responded to the call of the PFLP to protest in support of the Syrian regime and the condemnation of Israeli shelling of Syrian facilities at dawn on Sunday. Consequently security services forces prevented the press crews from covering the event.
    Witnesses reported that security men in civilian clothes violently attacked journalists demanding that they shut down the cameras. Two journalists from Al-Mayadeen channel, Abdel Aziz Al-Afifi and Ahmed Ghanem were assaulted and beaten.
    The cameraman of Palestine Today TV, Mohammed Abu Taha, photographer Ayad al-Baba, who works for a foreign agency, and the other two journalists from Al-Mayadeen were detained for half an hour, before they were released in the courtyard of the sit-in.
    Euro-Med Monitor regards this behavior a blatant attack on the freedom of the press and the right of citizens to express their views, warning against the repeated incidents of attacks on journalists and popular gatherings in the Palestinian territories, and calling for ensuring the right of citizens to express their views by all means guaranteed by law.
    In the same context, Euro-Med Monitor considers that the Ministry of Interior's apology for "rough dealing with journalists" today a step in the right direction, however, those incidents of assaults against journalists and activists need to be genuinely addressed through imposing deterrent sanctions on security individuals who participated in the attacks.