The Palestinian Authority’s security forces have been detaining Palestinian journalist Tariq Abu Zeid for ten days; Palestinian journalists, including recently freed Palestinian hunger striker and journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq and his wife Fayha Shalash, have protested in Ramallah and Nablus, urging the release of Abu Zeid.
Abu Zeid, who works for Al-Aqsa TV, was arrested in a raid on his home on Monday, 16 May and accused of publishing material harmful to the “resitge of the state;” his detention was extended last Thursday for 15 days. Jaafar Shtayyeh, member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, joined a protest for the release of Abu Zeid in Nablus, urging the PA to stop the political arrests of journalists.
At the protest in Ramallah, al-Qeeq urged protest and action to confront Israeli campaigns against Palestinians, in particular journalists. Approximately 19 Palestinian journalists are imprisoned by Israel, many without charge or trial, including Omar Nazzal, member of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate General Secretariat, and Samah Dweik, accused of “incitement” for postings on Facebook.
Protesters linked the detention of Abu Zeid and other Palestinians by the PA with its ongoing security coordination with Israel; PA security forces share intelligence and information with Israeli occupation forces, and have publicly boasted of undermining and stopping Palestinian resistance. The PA’s security coordination practice has been praised by the Shin Bet.
Five Palestinian journalists’ associations in Gaza condemned the arrest of Abu Zeid and called for his freedom, saying that “we condemn and deplore all forms of political detention against journalists by the security services, especially at a time when 20 journalists are still imprisoned by the Israeli occupation.”