Monday, July 06
Latest News
  1. Fighting grips Yemen's Aden as UN envoy presses truce bid
  2. Kuwait mulls charging more than 40 over mosque bomb
  3. Sousse governor among officials fired over Tunisia attack
  4. Polling opens in crucial Greece bailout referendum
  5. Greece will decide its own 'destiny' says PM Tsipras
  6. Police, witness: Suicide bomber kills five in NE Nigeria church
  7. Clinton: China 'trying to hack into everything'
  8. Airstrikes hit multiple IS targets in Syria stronghold
  9. Tunisia declares state of emergency after beach attack
  10. Ministers back to Vienna for final Iran nuclear deal push
  11. Lawyer: 2 London teens have married IS group fighters
  12. Saudi-led air strike on Yemen rebel bastion 'kills 23'
  13. IAEA: Iran atomic bomb probe may be completed in 2015
  14. FM: Iran will help meet 'common challenges' like extremism
  15. Greece PM urges 'No' vote to 'live with dignity in Europe'
  16. Ministry: Saudi policeman killed in raid, IS flags found
  17. UNESCO condemns IS destruction of Syria's Palmyra antiquities
  18. Tunisian Abu Iyadh, reported dead in Libya, is Qaeda veteran
  19. Nigerian troops battling Boko Haram gunmen outside Maiduguri
  20. Kuwait tightens security as emir attends joint prayers

PA foreign minister defends arrest of journalist

March 29, 2012 11:28 P.M. (Updated: March 31, 2012 2:08 P.M.)
BAGHDAD (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority foreign minister on Thursday defended his role in the arrest of a journalist who the government is accusing of defamation and libel over a January newspaper story.

Riyad al-Malki told reporters on the sidelines of an Arab summit in Iraq that the arrest of Yousef al-Shayeb was justified, and suggested he and the government were victims.

"I'm surprised some journalists reacted emotionally on behalf of their colleague without hearing the other side's case, or considering for a moment if Yousef al-Shayeb is the oppressor or the oppressed," he said.

The minister is a central character in the report al-Shayeb filed for Jordan's al-Ghad newspaper in late January. It suggests al-Malki illegally promoted a diplomat, Safwat Ibraghit, to the post of deputy ambassador to Paris despite having knowledge of Ibraghit's ties to foreign intelligence agencies.

The minister maintains that the journalist knew before filing his report that it contained falsehoods. He says he expected al-Shayeb to apologize but the journalist has instead defended his work.

Al-Malki, visibly angry on Thursday, added that journalists should "expel al-Shayeb from their ranks. He has harmed the Palestinian media and published (false) reports. He should have been more professional."

The minister said the general prosecutor has been asked to investigate the charges contained in the report. If they are accurate, the parties will be prosecuted and if not, the journalist will be charged. So far only the journalist, and not any diplomats, have been held for questioning.

He said al-Shayeb should be held responsible for what he publishes and not "play the victim."

"The truth will come out at the end," he added.

Journalists and human rights groups, meanwhile, have denounced the arrest.

The Palestinian center for development and media freedoms, known as Mada, demanded al-Shayeb's release and called for an end to "the policy of arrest and detention of journalists" in Palestine.

"Shayeb was simply doing his job as a journalist," the group said.

It also pointed out that under Palestinian law, journalists have no obligation to reveal their sources except in unusually urgent circumstances, such as a national security matter, and following a court order.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015