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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Freedom of the Press, Hamas-style

From Ma'an:
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) condemned on Tuesday the raiding of Al-Aqsa TV cameraman and news producer Ammar Yasir Altilawy’s home on Thursday.

Altilawy’s home was stormed in the evening by an armed person, working for the National security forces for the de facto Ministry of Interior, a statement issued by MADA said.

"My house was raided in Thursday evening by an armed and military uniformed person who is working in the National Security Forces affiliated to the Ministry of Interior in Gaza under the pretext that he wanted to take pictures of military operation carried out by someone before his martyrdom, so he stole my laptop and he left a message that if he did not find the pictures on the laptop, he will kidnap me by force,” Altilawy told MADA.

"After that I went to the police headquarters and I reported the incident and the testimony of a witness, and they told me that they cannot do anything for because the aggressor is working in the National Security, and that I have to come back to their office later.”

Following which Altilawy went with his father to the police office on Saturday to follow up on his complaint, expressing fear that the aggressors may return to kidnap him. According to his testimony given to MADA, the officer he met with was a sibling of the first officer, who, upon Altilawy’s request for assistance told officers to beat him.

“When I almost finished the sentence, the officer said to his soldiers:" hit him", so they beat me severely with sticks and [their] feet, they were about ten soldiers, and when my father (50 years old) tried to keep them away from me, they also beat him. After that they took me to a room, then the officer came to me after they put me on the wall and raised my hands on it, he severely beat and slapped me, and then ordered the soldiers to put me in the jail. They also confiscated my property and my mobile. After an hour, somebody from the police interfered and tried to convince me to apologize to the officer to release me but I refused because I didn't do anything wrong to him, after that they release me with a pledge.”
Hamas openly threatens the media, and this is the reason why the world doesn't see the true picture from Gaza.