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Freedom of the press: Palestine's journalists call for action

Although President Mahmoud Abbas recently reiterated that freedom of the press is absolute in Palestine, the executive branch has carried on with its abuses against journalists, in a flagrant contradiction between what's being said and what's actually happening.
Palestinian journalists protest in front of the Journalists' Syndicate in Gaza City 26 August 2007. Dozens of journalists staged a sit-in in Gaza today, protesting against pressure on the media by the Islamist Hamas movement that took over the territory in mid-June. More than 100 reporters gathered in front of the journalists union building in central Gaza City, two days after Hamas forces briefly detained four journalists and violently broke up a rally of the rival Fatah party. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo

RAMALLAH, West Bank — In public, Palestinian officials seem to agree that freedom of the press is essential. Yet journalists continue to be harassed, imprisoned and subjected to violence by Palestinian security services.

On Aug. 2, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was the first Arab leader to sign the Declaration on Media Freedom in the Arab World. He declared Aug. 1 of each year Freedom of Opinion and Expression Day in Palestine.

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