Tuesday, April 28
Latest News
  1. Kerry: US defense commitment to Japan 'ironclad', includes Senkakus
  2. Kerry unveils $10 mln in Nepal quake aid
  3. Government: Nepal quake death toll passes 4,000
  4. Bahrain again extends top rights activist's detention
  5. Kerry to meet Iran FM Zarif on Monday
  6. Dozens of Iraqi police killed during fierce clashes in Ramadi
  7. First Saudi National Guards reach Yemen border zone
  8. Israel charges soldiers over looting during Gaza war
  9. Israel invites bids for 77 East Jerusalem settler homes
  10. Deutsche Bank Q1 profits fall 50% over $2.5 bn rate fixing fine
  11. Witnesses: 2 protestors shot dead in Burundi capital
  12. Small groups of protestors, police clash in Burundi capital
  13. Clashes rage in Yemen as calls for peace talks grow
  14. EU AgenPolice arrest 26 across Europe in horsemeat scandal
  15. US: Russia failing to fully implement Ukraine ceasefire
  16. Kerry urges Yemen rebels and their allies to enter talks
  17. Ex-Yemen leader urges rebel allies to heed UN, pull back
  18. Iraq lacks DNA results to test body of 'Saddam deputy'
  19. Family: Syria's sacked political spy chief dead
  20. Officials: 14 Somali, Afghan immigrants killed by train in Macedonia

Journalists urged to boycott PA press freedom award

March 28, 2012 7:33 A.M. (Updated: March 30, 2012 10:05 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority has launched a prize to recognize exemplary reporting, but Palestinian journalists are calling for a boycott in protest of the government's treatment of the media.

The prime minister in Ramallah, Salam Fayyad, unveiled the prize Tuesday and invited journalists to submit work on all platforms during the first half of April. The winner is to be announced in May.

The prize, which is awarded annually, is intended to “support local media and encourage journalists to compete and produce quality and daring material that addresses citizens' concerns," Fayyad said.

But the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, the main union for Palestinian media workers, is calling on reporters to boycott the award in light of the arrest of a journalist who reported on allegations of PA corruption.

Yousef al-Shayeb was arrested Monday and a Palestinian court extended the remand 15 days on Wednesday. The government is seeking $6 million in "restitution" for his report for a Jordanian newspaper. The story quoted sources who made serious allegations against the Palestinian mission in Paris as well as the foreign minister.

After holding an emergency meeting Wednesday, the syndicate called on all journalists and Palestinian media to focus attention on al-Shayeb’s case, which it called a blow to freedom of the press and expression.

In his remarks Tuesday, Fayyad called a professional local media "one of the most important pillars of an independent Palestinian state, as it is the fourth branch of the government, which must be respected."

He added that the government established the award as "a commitment to the promise it made two years ago which is that it will always be supportive and a protector of freedom of expression and opinion."

Al-Shayeb, meanwhile, has started a hunger strike protesting his arrest, the journalists syndicate said. It called for supporting the reporter and said the court decision Wednesday marked a "dark day" for press freedom.
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015