March 1, 2012.
For immediate release:
DCMF STRONGLY CONDEMNS ISRAELI MILITARY RAID ON AL WATAN AND AL QUDS TV STATIONS.
The Doha Centre for Media Freedom strongly condemns the raids on Al Watan TV and Al Quds Educational Television in Ramallah, the West Bank. "Such raids threaten basic rights of public access to information, press freedom and freedom of expression, the Centre’s Director, Jan Keulen said. It is a blatant violation of human rights. There is no justification for such an infringement on the freedom of journalists at these stations, nor to endanger the rights of the Palestinian people to be informed."
Early on Wednesday February 29 (around 2 am), Israeli troops entered the said television stations under the pretext that they used unauthorised frequencies. Israel’s Communications Ministry claims the stations received multiple warnings. A claim which is denied by the stations and the Palestinian Authority.
In the raids that took several hours, the Israeli military and officials removed transmitters, computers, other equipment and documents, effectively obstructing the stations from functioning. Both stations were fully licensed from the Palestinian Communications Ministry and, according to that Ministry, complied with all legal requirements and the PA’s agreements with Israel.
The Doha Centre for Media Freedom furthermore calls for an independent investigation into the claims made by the Israeli Ministry of Communications. "If it is true that the stations received multiple warnings, this should be easy to prove, Jan Keulen said. But even if so, this does not justify any such military action that de facto silences their voices. According to Israeli-Palestinian agreements, this should be an internal Palestinian matter. The Doha Centre for Media Freedom will continue to monitor this case closely."
For further information on this topic, or to schedule an interview with the DCMF director Jan Keulen, please call +974 4418 2208 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.