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Amid crackdown on Palestinian media, Israel renews detention of journalist

Dec. 9, 2016 10:51 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 11, 2017 11:55 A.M.)
Palestinian journalist and Addameer media coordinator, Hassan Safadi, was arrested in May and sentenced to six months in administrative detention in June (Credit: Addameer)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities Thursday renewed the administrative detention order of Palestinian journalist, human rights activist, and the media coordinator of prisoners rights group Addameer Hasan Safadi for an additional six months.

According Addameer, Israeli forces initially detained Safadi as he crossed the Allenby bridge between the occupied West Bank and Jordan at the start of May, keeping him under Israeli military interrogation for forty days before sentencing him to six months of administrative detention -- the controversial Israeli policy of internment without trial or charge.

The group emphasized in the statement that Israeli authorities are permitted to renew administrative detention orders indefinitely and without disclosing any evidence that could justify the detention, adding that Safadi's detention has represented "the continued attack on Palestinian journalists and media workers," as several others are also being held in administrative detention.

Israel’s widely-condemned policy of administrative detention allows internment without charge or trial in maximum six-month long renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence, that even a detainee’s lawyer is barred from viewing.

Rights groups have claimed that the policy has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.

Addameer stated in May that the group “condemns the violations practiced by the occupation forces systematically against human rights activists, and human rights defenders, and journalists.”

“Addameer also denounces the arbitrary detentions against them and others standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people in light of the daily crimes practiced against them by the occupation forces, which violate international human rights and humanitarian laws,” the group added.

Israeli authorities have carried out a crackdown on Palestinian journalists and human rights activists since a wave of violence erupted in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory last October, with several dozen Palestinian journalists being detained by Israeli forces.

Meanwhile, prominent Palestinian activist Daoud Ghoul, who was detained in June last year, was released after 17 months in Israeli prison last month after Israeli forces had also issued a military order banning him from East Jerusalem and the West Bank, as well as from international travel.

However, on Monday, just a week after his release, Ghoul was detained once again by Israeli forces.

According to Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons as of October, 720 of whom are being held in administrative detention.
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