Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Freedom of the Press, Hamas-style

From Reporters Sans Frontieres:

Reporters Without Borders condemns the Hamas interior ministry’s decision to deny Palestinian and foreign journalists access to the southern city of Rafah and to all hospitals in the Gaza Strip until further notice. The ban was issued on 14 August, after fighting broke out in Rafah between the Hamas government and a radical Islamist group.

“The Hamas-led government’s interior ministry has again demonstrated a desire to control news and information in the Gaza Strip,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Only the presence of journalists would ensure independent information about what took place in Rafah on 14 and 15 August.”

Palestine Press Agency adds that Hamas broke into the offices of Reuters on August 14th following their coverage of the speech by Abdul Latif declaring Gaza an Islamic emirate. Hamas also accused Al Arabiya of broadcasting a report about the events “full of lies and slander,” that brought “harm to the Palestinian resistance.”