West Bank: The raid on Watan TV's office and the prevention of a press conference are a serious violation of press freedom
Stockholm - Skyline International for Human Rights condemns the storming of the Watan TV's office in Ramallah by Palestinian security forces in civilian clothes and the prevention of holding a press conference inside.
In a statement released today (Thursday), Skyline notes that the raid on Watan TV's office aimed at preventing the holding of a conference of Palestinian figures from Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank to issue a "statement to the Palestinian public" calling for elections and expressing rejection of the Palestinian push to withdraw settlement policies before the Security Council and rejection of the five-year summit in Aqaba.
Skyline also notes that security forces attempted to prevent journalists from entering the Watan office to delete video clips of the storming taken by several journalists.
This came after security forces sealed off the site of a press conference scheduled for today in Ramallah to release a memorandum by 150 political and social figures calling for the convening of the National Council, the holding of comprehensive elections and the scrapping of the Oslo Accords, according to Tayseer Al-Zubari, a member of the National Steering Committee of the Palestinian People's Congress.
Skyline states, "This attack is an extension of the Palestinian security services' suppression and restriction of the freedom of journalistic work when it comes to legitimate political activities against the policies of the Palestinian Authority.
In this context, Skyline notes that what is happening is a blatant violation of the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of expression, and freedom of journalistic work, and calls on the Palestinian government to end the suppression of public freedoms.
Finally, Skyline demands that the forces that stormed Watan TV's office and the party that issued the order be held accountable, as the incident constitutes a violation of Palestinian law, which guarantees freedom of opinion and expression, as well as a violation of Palestine's commitment to international covenants.