Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Israel: Palestinian cameraman sentenced to 10 months in prison by an Israeli court


The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) denounced on 2 February 2014 the verdict delivered by an Israeli court against a Palestinian journalist, sentencing him to 10 months in prison on the backdrop of his journalistic work.

On 28 January, Israel's Ofer Military Court issued the sentence against Watan TV camerman Mohamed Awad due to his coverage of violations committed by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians.

Israeli forces arrested Awad on 13 August 2013 after fiercely storming his home in Budrus, Ramallah. They attacked all those present, searched his house and confiscated his camera and his laptop.

"The harsh judgement issued against the journalist who worked to uncover violations committed by Israeli forces against the Palestinian people who aspire for freedom is a continuation of the Israeli forces' abuses against the press," stated ANHRI. "Violations of media freedoms have been increasing lately in the wake of shameful silence on behalf of the international community."

ANHRI elaborated that the arrest of journalists and media professionals and their consequent imprisonment in Israeli jails over malicious and trumped-up charges, in an attempt to hide Israeli forces' violations, contradict with the international legal norms and conventions that guarantee freedom of the press and media.

ANHRI reiterates its demand from the international community to pressure the Israeli entity into respecting freedom of expression as well as press freedom, and calls for the urgent release of journalist Mohamed Awad.