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Date posted: November 28, 2007
By MIFTAH

The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy [MIFTAH], strongly condemns the attack on Palestinian journalists and demonstrators on November 27, which resulted in the serious injury of one Al Jazeera Satellite Channel journalist, a number of others and several other citizens.

The demonstrations, which took place in a number of cities in the West Bank, were in protest of the US-brokered Middle East peace conference held in Annapolis, Maryland that same day. The Palestinian Authority issued an order prior to the conference banning all demonstrations concerning the meeting, whether for or against it. However, protests still broke out in West Bank cities, namely Ramallah and Hebron. In Ramallah, members of the Palestinian Security Forces were shown beating protestors and shooting into the crowds, resulting in the injury of several citizens including Wael Shiyoukhi of Al Jazeera Satellite Channel. In Hebron, one man affiliated with the Islamist Liberation Party was killed from a bullet to the head. Security forces claim the demonstrators initiated the hostilities, which led to the riots.

MIFTAH reiterates its condemnation of the security forces excessive use of force, especially against journalists and stresses that such acts are in violation of Palestinian and international laws on liberties and human rights. According to Article 26 of the Palestinian Basic Law, The right to peaceful assembly is recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those which are prescribed by law,

Article 14 also states that, Every person shall have right to freedom of thought, conscience and expression and publication of his opinion either orally, in writing or in the form of art or through any other form of expression, while Article 16 stipulates that the freedom of the press, printing, publication and media is guaranteed.

MIFTAH views yesterdays events with grave concern and calls on all parties to refrain from the oppression of the personal liberties of Palestinian citizens. It also calls on the Palestinian Authority to open investigations into the fatal events and to hold all those responsible for the impingement on these basic freedoms accountable.

Source: MIFTAH
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