Palestinian freedom of expression under attack: 150 arrested for Facebook posts, journalists imprisoned, TV stations closed


Palestinian freedom of expression continues under sustained attack by Israel; while over 16 Palestinian journalists are imprisoned, 150 Palestinians have been arrested over Facebook posts, reported the Palestinian Prisoners’ Commission.

The Commission reported that a special unit of the Israeli security regime has been formed specifically to surveil and target Palestinian social media, noting that Palestinian Jerusalemites have been especially targeted and that numerous Palestinians from occupied Palestine ’48 have been fired from their jobs over Facebook posts against the occupation.

This comes amid the raid on Palestine Today television station and the imprisonment of three of its staff members on Friday, 11 March. In addition, on Thursday, 10 March, Palestinian journalist Sami al-Sa’ie‘s detention was extended for eight more days for interrogation – al-Sa’ie, a journalist, was accused of incitement on his personal facebook page; he is a news editor for al-Fajr al-Jadeed TV channel in Tulkarem.

Imprisoned journalists include three administrative detainees, including Mohammed Kaddoumi, Ali Oweiwi and Mohammed al-Qeeq, who ensured his freedom with a 94-day hunger strike.