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2 Newsletter published by SKEYES for the defence of media &

cultural freedoms for Samir Kassir Foundation

Monday 31 May 2010 Center for Media and Cultural Freedom

The Fifth Anniversary “Beirut Spring Festival”: theatre, music from the World
And the Fifth Award
On the second of June, 2010, On the second of June, the Beirut
the anniversary of Samir Kassir’s International Spring Cultural Festival will
assassination arrives again, for the begin. This festival will be hosted by the
fifth year. Samir Kassir Foundation, in commemoration
It is the anniversary of the assassination of the fifth anniversary of the assassination
of the word, of the pen of freedom, of of the Lebanese press’s martyr.
intellect and free opinion, or in other This year, the festival will feature several
words, the assassination of the free, bands, theatrical performances and music
creative and original intellectuals who concerts that will be performed until the
dream of putting their countries and eighth of June in a number of theatres and
societies on the road to modernity! public squares in the Lebanese capital.
Five years have passed since the dream The festival is named after one of Samir
of liberating, and liberalizing, Lebanon Kassir’s most famous and last articles
and the restoration of its freedom, entitled ‘The Beirut Spring’. The festival
sovereignty and independence was first took place in June 2009, and was
realized, a dream launched by the well received by the public and the media
‘Independence Uprising’ on March 14, alike. It was described as being the first
2010, and of which Samir Kassir was a of its kind in the capital Beirut, and as
fundamental part. featuring performances that were being
Where is this dream now? Less than shown for the first time in the city’s
three months after the ‘uprising’, theatres, attracting a diverse audience.
Samir Kassir called for ‘an uprising On Monday, June 2, the festival will take
against the uprising’... place after the 2010 Samir Kassir Award
Was this because he was impatient, or for the Freedom of the Press ceremony,
was it because he was radical in his organized by the European Union. On the
thinking and behaviour, and as a result, sidelines of this ceremony, the Egyptian
he did not accept compromises? businessman Naguib Sawiris will give
Samir the ‘dreamer’ was constantly a lecture entitled ‘The role of business
challenging himself, and had rendered giants in national and regional policies
change the benchmark of this challenge. in the Arab world’, at four o’clock in the
Was the ‘statement of the dream’ afternoon, at the American University of
which he wrote months before the Beirut’s Hostler Centre.
‘uprising’ not an early indication The festival will feature a variety of shows, of dreams and justifies fatalism in lyrically creative rap music. The band
of this internal challenge, which combining theatrical arts, dance, music one’s private life - Music and direction consists of five members, including the
characterized his life and his stances? and singing, performed by a number of by André Pignat, and choreography by songwriter, composer and lead vocalist
His dream led him to the world of international troupes and bands: Géraldine Lonfat and Stephanie Boll. Wael Kodeih.
politics, where words meet deeds. - On the 3rd of June, the French theatre The play will be performed at the Le - On the 8th of June, the Arab Opera
On June 2, the annual Samir Kassir troupe ‘Le Minotaure’ will perform ‘Anna Dome- La Bulle Theatre in downtown group will perform its distinguished
Award for Press Freedom launched by Politkovskaya, a play dedicated to the Beirut. show ‘Zajal’. The show is a harmonious
the European Union will be awarded Russian journalist who was assassinated - On the 5th of June, the festival will mix of singing, acting, music and audio-
for best article about the state of law on the seventh of October 2006 in feature a performance by the Badila visual effects. It is written by musician
and human rights. the line of her journalistic duty, and Ensemble, which consists of an Zad Moultaka, and will feature Gabriel
And thus, Samir’s dream will endure in, after receiving numerous death threats Indian dancer and musicians from Yammine and the Ars Nova orchestra. It
and with, the Beirut Spring. against the backdrop of her articles India, France and Iran. In brief, their will be performed at the Roman baths
that tackled corruption and violations performance will be a journey towards in downtown Beirut.
SKeyes website: http://www.skeyesmedia.org of the local laws in her country. The a new musical world fashioned by the The Beirut Spring Festival is an attempt
play will be performed at the Theatre masterly combination of instruments, to revive the cultural scene, and to allow
of Beirut – Ain Mreisseh. vocals and dance, and of oriental the Lebanese audience, particularly from
- On the 4th of June, the Swiss music and the dance of dervishes. The Beirut, to be acquainted with different
troupe ‘Interface’ will perform its performance will take place at the Le cultures and civilisations through musical
contemporary ballet show entitled Dome- La Bulle Theatre in downtown performances that combine elements from
‘Pazzi’. The performance was inspired Beirut. the orient and the west, of tradition
by the life of St. Mary Madeleine de - On the 6th of June, the Samir Kassir and modernity, as well as local and
Pazzi, which symbolizes the refusal of Garden will host Rayess Bek, the international elements.
This Project is absolute and negative submission to Franco-Lebanese band which tackles Entry to all the events of the Beirut Spring
funded by the the world and the dominant morality, wasted opportunities and problems Festival is free of charge. Performances will
EUROPEAN UNION which in turn thwarts the realization in Lebanon through its musically and start on nine o’clock in the evening.
2

The military prosecutor in Damascus indicts al-Maleh


AGENDA for ‘spreading false news’
Damascus – “Skeyes” conditions, as a result of mistreatment by the prison’s administration,
Asmaa al-Ghoul wins The military prosecutor in Damascus indicted the known Syrian lawyer which denies him access to his medications.
the Hellman-Hammett and human rights activist Haitham al-Maleh, for the felony of ‘spreading In the course of his interrogation by the Second Military Criminal
Award for Writers false news that weakens the nation’s morale”, in accordance with article Court in Damascus on 22/4/2010, al-Maleh said: “I want to express my
/286/ and article /285/ of the Syrian General Penal Code. This took reservation about my interrogation as I was not able to privately meet
place in the session convened at the Second Criminal Court in Damascus with any of my solicitors. For this reason, I ask the court to send a letter
on Thursday 13/5/2010. The cout was then adjourned to 3/6/2010. to the administration of the Damascus Central Prison (Adra) to allow me
The session was attended by lawyer Hoda Abdel-Wahab, representing the to meet with one of my lawyers to discuss the charges against me”.
Arab Centre for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Law”, and It should me mentioned that the lawyer Haitham al-Maleh was born
lawyer Rebhi al-Atwi representing the ‘Voice of the Law”, in addition to in Damascus in 1931. He holds a degree in law and a diploma in
a number of lawyers and human rights activists. general international law. He began his career as a lawyer in 1957.
According to SKeyes’s correspondent in Damascus, al-Maleh reiterated He was arrested and imprisoned for 6 years between 1980 and
his protest against the fact that the Bar Association did not allow his 1986 along with a number of trade unionists, political activists and
solicitors to visit him at the Damascus Central Prison in Adra, in order dissenters, against the backdrop of his demands for constitutional
for him to discuss the case with them. The lawyers requested to meet reforms. He is also a co-founder of the “Syrian Association for
The correspondent for SKeyes, the writer al-Maleh after the session, and the judge accepted and allowed five of Human Rights”.
and journalist Asmaa al-Ghoul, won them to meet him. The Department of State Security in Damascus had arrested al-Maleh on
the Hellman-Hammett Award for 2010, The correspondent also said that signs of exhaustion and fatigue were 14/10/2009, and he was subsequently transferred by the military police
for writers who work under political visible on al-Maleh who is 79 years old, and who suffers from several to the military judiciary.
pressure, granted by the American
Human Rights Watch organization.
Human Rights Watch announced
that al-Ghoul won the award after
The Jordanian judiciary hands a victory to the freedom of the media
being subjected to various political On Sunday, May 16, 2010, the Jordanian Court of Appeal issued a verdict the director of the Unit for Legal Assistance to Journalists ‘Milad’, the
pressures by the successive Palestinian that is the first of its kind in the history of the Jordanian judiciary, lawyer Mohammed Qteishat said: “this decision is a new victory for the
governments and media institutions which reaffirms the right of the journalist to convey news in accordance freedom of the media, and represents a new judicial trend in issues
that she worked with, in addition with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International of the press and publications that promises more justice towards the
to the restrictions imposed by the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. media sector”.
dominant culture in her community. In its verdict, the court acquitted the Al-Mir’at [the mirror] newspaper, He emphasized that “the verdict is the first of its kind in the history
The Hellman-Hammett award is granted its chief editor and its redactor of the charges of violating articles 5 and of the Jordanian judiciary, as it is based and rationalized on the basis
in cooperation with Human Rights 7 of the press and publication act no. 8 for 1998, and article 15 from of international standards for the freedom of opinion and expression,
Watch to the writers and journalists the law of court contempt, without returning the case to the Court of particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
active in the field of human rights, or First Instance which had convicted them. On the other hand, the verdict adds a democratic characteristic to the
who are persecuted by the authorities According to Judge Mohammed Al-Tarawneh in his decision numbered Jordanian judiciary by taking into consideration the provisions of the
in their countries for reasons related 550/2009, “it is the right of the journalist to convey news as sanctioned Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is considered a moral
to their activities in this field, or by constitutions, national legislations, the Universal Declaration of Human declaration that is not mandatory”.
because of their opinions and beliefs. Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, under In conclusion, Qteishat said: “the verdict reinforced the ‘presumption of
The award was first granted in 1989 a number of terms, most notably the accuracy of the news, its social innocence’ for the journalists, by placing the burden of proving that
in honour of the American writers nature, the objectivity of the presentation and good faith”. an offense has taken place in the hands of the prosecution, and the
Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett, Regarding the importance of this verdict as a precedent in cases presumption that journalists are acting in good faith until it’s proven
who were persecuted during the era of related to press and publication matters brought before the courts, otherwise”.
McCarthyism in the fifties.
The award’s judges’ panel consists of
a number of writers and journalists The Israeli Police arrests 14 Jewish activists in Sheikh Jarrah
who focus on issues of the freedom of
expression and opinion, and who come On Friday, May 14, 2010, the Israeli police arrested 14 human rights was released by the police after it was verified that he is a journalist.
from all around the world. activist from the Israeli left, most of whom organizers of the weekly Also present among the demonstrators who closed down the street was
Almost two weeks later, the colleague demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah, which is held in protest against the the former President of the Hebrew University Hanoch Gutfreund.
Asmaa received the Arab Press Award appropriation of Palestinian homes in the neighbourhood by Jewish The protestors were all in agreement that “the behaviour of the police
in Dubai which focuses on creativity settlers. on Jerusalem Day has proven without any doubt that it is complicit
by the youths, along with other The protesters complained of the violence used by the Israeli police in the settlement activities in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East
colleagues. against them, forcing four of them to leave the location to receive Jerusalem, as it allowed hundreds of settlers who came in buses from
Al-Ghoul works with the London- medical treatment. They were all arrested around five o’clock in the all around the occupied territories to dance and celebrate inside the
based Al-Hayat newspaper and the afternoon on Friday, and were not released until one o’clock after neighbourhood, while closing the streets and the pavements and terrorizing
Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayam, and midnight on Sunday. However, they refused to sign the terms of their the Palestinians. At the same time, the police prevented a group of leftist
as a correspondent for the SKeyes release. activists from standing next to the neighbourhood’s residents, claiming
Centre for the Defence of Media The clashes had erupted between the demonstrators and the police, when that their presence there is a form of illegal assembly”.
and Cultural Freedoms. She is also a a group of the former left the location of the demonstration specified The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) issued a statement
treasurer of the Board of Directors for them by the court – where 3500 protesters were present -, and condemning “the extreme violence pursued by the police against citizens
at the Palestinian Institution for attempted to reach the disputed homes inside the neighbourhood, in exercising their right to demonstrate peacefully, in a civilized and legal
Communication and Development, protest of the police allowing the settlers to demonstrate near those manner on Friday in Sheikh Jarrah, causing many of them to be injured.”
in addition to being a short-stories homes on ‘Jerusalem Day’. The activists were arrested at the checkpoint The statement also said that “what happened is further evidence of the
novelist. She has two published erected by the police, after dozens of them lied in the street. The police increased harassment by the police and crackdown against civil protest.”
collections of short stories. rushed towards them to arrest them, and also arrested the correspondent ACRI also stated that “there was no reason to keep the protesters under
of the ‘Voice of Israel’ Shai Zilber and detained him for 15 minutes. Zilber arrest until the end of the week, and that there wasn’t any need to
also complained of the violence used against him during his arrest. He interrogate them as they are not a threat to the public.”
3

The Second Beirut Spring Festival’s Program


In the first year it was held, the Beirut band ‘Fou’.
Spring Festival featured a number of The third performance featured the French
theatrical troupes and musical bands, which opera singer Rémi Van Sam and the pianist
performed at a number of theatres in Beirut, Mahkama Nafabi, followed by a dance
in the downtown area, attracting a diverse performance by Omar Rajeh (Lebanon)
audience. entitled “the assassination of Omar Rajeh”.
Through six international performances, On its penultimate night, the festival featured
the festival managed to present itself as a hip hop concert entitled “The Narcicyst”
a prestigious cultural and artistic event performed by singer Yassine al-Salman and
that is unprecedented in Beirut, owing to The Fridge group from Montreal and the
the fact that major festivals usually take United Arab Emirates.
place in cities far from Beirut, for example The festival concluded with a dialogue
in the mountain, the south, the north and table and the launching of Sandra Iché’s
the Beqaa. The first theatrical performance book titled “L’Orient Express”, the same
was (“Nos poetes ont disparu de la vie sur name of the monthly magazine which
terre”), and featured the Greek actress Katia was edited by Samir Kassir. The session
Giro accompanied with a translation into was moderated by Medea Azoury Habib,
Arabic. The next day, the play “Staging and with the participation of the writers and
Preparation” by Rajaa bin Ammar was shown novelists Sharif Majlani, Jabbour Dowaihi,
along with a performance by the Tunisian Omar Bustani and Nada Shaoul.

Title Band/Troupe Name Type of Performance Time Venue


Anna Politkovskaya (France) Le Minotaure Theater / monologue Thursday June 3, 2010 Theatre of Beirut / Ain Mreisseh
Pazzi (Switzerland) Interface Contemporary Ballet Friday June 4, 2010 Le Dome Theatre / Downtown
Badila (India / Iran / France) Badila Singing and folkloric dance Saturday June 5, 2010 Le Dome Theatre / Downtown
Rayess Bek (Lebanon / France) The Rayess Bek Orchestra Hip hop Sunday June 6, 2010 Samir Kassir Garden / Downtown Beirut
Zajal (Lebanon / France) Zad Moultaka and his company Opera inspired by zajal [folkloric poetry] Tuesday June 8, 2010 Roman baths/ downtown Beirut
Free admission Concerts start at nine o›clock at night sharp

THE PRESS AND THE JUDICIARY


In continuation of the first part of the report on the press the ownership of LBC. In Syria: The writer and former political prisoner Raghda
and the judiciary in 2010 published in the first issue of the - The Court of Publications fined al-Mustaqbal newspaper al-Hassan was referred to the military court in Homs
newsletter on March 31, which covered the first few months in the course of the case brought by MP Talal Arslan following a two-month long detention without trial. Al-
of the year, we continue shedding light on the relationship against the Lebanese daily. Although Mr. Arslan had Hassan was charged with ‘engaging in publishing false news
between the judiciary and the press in this issue, through dropped charges earlier, the court ruled that ‘the that weakens the nation’s morale’. The writer was arrested
the following points: forfeiture of personal charges by the plaintiff prior to on February 10 on the Syrian side of the Arida border
In Lebanon: In a quick recapitulation of the outgoing period’s the sentencing does not apply in this case, as the offence crossing with Lebanon, and she remained in isolation from
incidents, we note that the beginning of the month witnessed was committed against the plaintiff while he was still a the outside world until she was sent for trial.
an attack on the car belonging to the journalist Afif Diab. minister”. - The Syrian administrative court quashed the application
Its windscreens and windows were damaged along with its - Hezbollah filed a complaint against al-Liwaa daily for a licence by the National Organization for Human
exterior body, something that the journalist considered to newspaper against the backdrop of the Ethiopian plane Rights in Syria.
be a threat message. To date, the security authorities are crash, but officials from the newspaper questioned the - The trial of the journalists Bassam Ali and Suhaila Ismail
yet to uncover the identity of the perpetrators, despite the timing of this move and wondered whether this has any before the Second Court of Appeal in Homs began, against
fact that he lodged a formal complaint against unknown links to the municipal elections, in particular in Beirut. the background of their report on corruption, forgery,
persons immediately after finding his vehicle in this state. - The summoning of former Major General Ali Hajj’s wife, embezzlement and theft taking place in the General
In other news related to the judiciary: Samar Hajj, was postponed to the eighth of July, in the Fertilizers Company in Homs. It should be mentioned
- The court of cassation quashed two appeals filed by course of the lawsuit brought against her by the editor that the Syrian inspection authorities established the
al-Akhbar newspaper against the leader of the Lebanese of al-Mustaqbal daily newspaper Hani Hammoud for libel truthfulness of the report. However, political pressures
Forces Samir Geagea, on counts of libel, slander, and slander, after she asked the court for additional led to the dismissal of those involved in the case
publishing false news and criminal defamation. time to hire a lawyer to defend her. from their posts while their assets were frozen. Then
- Several Iraqi intellectuals expressed their solidarity - The Court of Publications sentenced al-Mustaqbal daily the two journalists who exposed the wrongdoing were
with al-Adab magazine, against the ruling by the newspaper to a fine, in the course of the lawsuit brought prosecuted.
Lebanese Court of Publications fining the magazine. The by Major General Jamil Sayyed, against the backdrop of - Four Syrian detainees were sentenced to five years in
intellectuals republished the editorial “Critique of Critical an article the paper ran on January 28 last year. prison for belonging to the Kurdish Yekiti Party.
Consciousness: Kurdistan-Iraq as an example”. - The Court also fined al-Muharrir magazine for criminal - The Syrian writer Ali Abdullah was referred to court two
- The Chairman of the Board of the Lebanese Broadcasting libel and slander, against the backdrop of a complaint months before the end of his sentence, which indicates
Corporation (LBC), Mr. Pierre Daher was interviewed in filed by the novelist and poet Ghada Samman against that his detention will be further extended, against the
the course of the lawsuit filed against him and other the magazine because of an article the latter ran in backdrop of statements he gave while he was in the
individuals by the Lebanese Forces, in the dispute over 2006. Adra prison more than a year ago.
4

The
TheSKeyes centreof report
Lenses on violations
Palestinian against inmedia
Journalists the and cultural freedom
Crosshairs in April
of Israeli 2010
Bullets
In April, SKeyes recorded a number of incidents and violations against
media and cultural freedoms in the four countries covered by SKeyes,
which are: Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan.

Lebanon:
There were many incidents against media freedoms in Lebanon, most notably the vandalizing
of a journalist’s car which was deemed to be a ‘threat message’, the hacking of the National
News Agency by Israeli hackers, the lawsuit filed by a political party against a newspaper,
in addition to the issuance of a number of judicial sentences against media outlets. The
incidents are detailed as follows:

- (1/4) the car belonging to the journalist Afif Diab was vandalized, shattering its windows
and windscreens, damaging its external body, while its seats were torn, in an
attack that was deemed to be an ‘ act of intimidation and threatening’. When
Diab found his vehicle in this state, he reported it to the security authorities and
filed a complaint against unknown persons at the Chtoura police station. So far,
the investigation is yet to reveal the background of the incident and identify the
perpetrators.
- (9/4) members from the municipal police of Hazmieh prevented the two cameramen
working for OTV, Ali al-Ghrayeb and Jack Mesbanji, from filming the location of the by the director pledging to prevent Moussa from performing, on the grounds that
explosion of a gas bottle in the Qanater Zbeideh area that separates Mansurieh his name was not mentioned in the permit.
from Hazmieh (east of Beirut). The quarrel between the two sides soon kicked off - (10/4) the writer and former political prisoner Raghda al-Hassan, who is currently in
into a physical clash. detention, was referred to the military court in Homs. Al-Hassan was charged with
- (13/4) the Court of Cassation quashed the two appeals filed by al-Akhbar daily newspaper ‘engaging in publishing false news that weakens the nation’s morale’. Al-Hassan
against the leader of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea, on counts of slander, libel was transferred to Homs’s central prison on 9/4 pending her trial.
and defamation. - (11/4) the Syrian administrative court quashed the lawsuit filed by the National
- (19/4) to protest the Court of Publications in Beirut’s decision to fine al-Adab magazine, Organization for Human Rights in Syria against the Minister of Social Affairs and
in the course of the lawsuit filed against it by the publisher Fakhri Karim, a Labour, related to their bid to obtain a licence for the organization in 2006
number of Iraqi intellectuals republished Samah idriss’s editorial that led to the through order no. 5452/2010.
lawsuit, and which was entitled ‘Critique of Critical Consciousness: Kurdistan-Iraq - (14/4) the journalists Bassam Ali and Suhaila Ismail appeared before the Second Court of
as an example’. Appeal in Homs, on charges of ‘resisting the socialist system’. This is against the
- (20/4) The investigating magistrate in Beirut interviewed the Chairman of the Board of backdrop of their report on corruption, forgery, embezzlement and theft at the
the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC), Mr. Pierre Daher, in the course of General Fertilizers Company in Homs.
the lawsuit filed against him and other individuals by the Lebanese Forces, in the - (14/4) the Syrian security forces carried out a wide campaign of arrests in the city
dispute over the ownership of LBC. He was then discharged on bail. of al-Raqqa, in the aftermath of the incidents that erupted during the Kurdish
- (26/4) the website of the National News Agency was hacked by Israeli hackers, and the celebrations of Nowruz (the Kurdish New Year). These incidents claimed the lives of
front page was replaced with an announcement in Arabic inviting anyone with a number of celebrators and injured dozen others, as a result of live rounds fired
reliable information on the pilot Ron Arad and other missing Israeli soldiers to by the security forces against protesters yielding Kurdish flags and banners.
submit it in return for a reward of ten million dollars. In the process, the website - (16/4) the al-Hadatha [modernity] official site for the Party of Modernity and Democracy
was disrupted for several hours. in Syria was hacked and disrupted, according to a news story published on the
- (26/4) the Court of Publications in Beirut fined the Director of al-Mustaqbal daily site, which mentioned that “the site’s server was deliberately hacked by the Syrian
newspaper and the journalist Fares Khashan with the amount of one million security services”.
Lebanese pounds, in the course of the slander and libel lawsuit filed against them - (16/4) the Syrian customs authorities prevented a number of members from the Arab
by MP Talal Arslan. National Conference from travelling to Lebanon, to participate in the conference
- (27/4) Hezbollah filed a lawsuit on behalf of its Deputy Secretary General against al-Liwaa held in Beirut (16-18/4).
daily newspaper. The latter had published reports it attributed to officials on the - (18/4) the Syrian Supreme State Security Court in Damascus sentenced Nazmi Abdul
hypothesis that the Ethiopian plane was shut down by a missile, and linked this Hannan Mohammed, Yasha Khaled Qadir, Dalkach Sh’mo M’mo, and Ahmad Khalil
incident to a delegation from the party cancelling their trip in the last minute. Darwish to five years in prison on charges of belonging to the Kurdish Yekiti Party,
- (27/4) the First Investigating Magistrate in Beirut postponed the summoning of former and on the grounds that they are calling for the secession of a part of the Syrian
Major General Ali Hajj’s wife, Samar Hajj, to the eighth of July, in the course of the territories and annex it to a foreign country.
lawsuit brought against her by the editor of al-Mustaqbal daily newspaper Hani - (19/4) the Syrian writer Ali Abdullah, who is being detained at the Adra central prison,
Hammoud for libel and slander, after she asked the court for additional time to was referred to the state security court two months before the end of his
hire a lawyer to defend her. sentence, which indicates that his detention will be extended further.
- (21/4) the Syrian security authorities released the Kurdish artist Anwar Nasso, who was
Syria: arrested with a group of leaders from the Kurdish Yekiti Party. However, his
The month of April ended with the news of the release of the Kurdish artist Anwar Nasso. detained colleagues (Hassan Saleh, Maarouf Mulla Ahmad and Mohammad Mustafa)
However, the fact that his colleagues from the Yekiti Party were kept in detention stopped were referred to the military prosecution in Damascus.
the Syrian observers and human rights activists short of feeling optimistic. Moreover, the - (22/4) The Second Military Criminal Court in Damascus held a new session for the trial
practice of hacking and disrupting websites returned, in addition to other violations listed of lawyer Haitham al-Maleh, and questioned him regarding the charges against him
as follows: of ‘spreading false news that weakens the nation’s morale, holding the court in
contempt, and spreading false news that undermine the standing of the state’.
- (3/4) the Political Security Branch in the city of Qamishli summoned the director of - (23/4) the website ‘Souriyoun.Net’ was hacked by perpetrators that the site described
Taj al-Malek hall in the city, where a concert by the singer Charbel Hanna was in one of its front page editorials as being ‘the Qarmatian Pirates’ [sic]. Also,
scheduled to be held, with the participation of the Syriac singer Habib Moussa as the Syrian Observatory’s email service was hacked, and was used in transmitting
the guest of honour. The Political Security Branch then extracted a signed affidavit fabricated news.
5

The SKeyes centre report on violations against media and cultural freedom in April 2010
prevention of photographers from taking pictures of the bodies of the two Palestinians that
The West Bank:  were executed by Hamas, a campaign of criticism against certain agencies and websites and
The month of April was no different than previous months, as it witnessed further arrests, threats to prosecute individuals employed by them, and was then culminated with Israeli
summonses and assaults, and a dangerous precedent in terms of the violations perpetrated involvement when Israeli forces directly targeted journalists during their incursion into the
by Israeli soldiers, when they used a Palestinian journalist as a human shield during their Gaza Strip, and deliberately fired at participants in the protest march in the middle of Gaza.
crackdown against the protestors in Bil’in. Also, the Palestinian National Authority in the West The details of these incidents are listed as follows:
Bank shut down several radio and television stations, which was considered a disaster in the
world of media freedoms. Listed below are the most notable violations: - (6/4) Israeli troops opened fire on journalists and demonstrators during the peace
march in the Atatra area east of Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip.
- (9/4) Israeli forces arrested the photographer working for the B’Tselem Israeli human - (7/4) the Media Office affiliated with the Hamas dismissed government summoned
rights organizations Haitham al-Khatib, while he was photographing the Israeli the three journalists from Gaza who travelled to Israel on March 25, to obtain
crackdown against the peaceful march in Bil’in. clarifications regarding their visit to Tel Aviv. The journalists said that they have
- (10/4) Israeli troops stormed the headquarters of the Michigan Peace Team, which been misled.
accommodates American peace activities, in Hawara south of Nablus. According - (15/4) the security forces affiliated to the dismissed government of Hamas prevented
to the team’s director, soldiers blew up the main door, threw stun grenades and the journalists from photographing the bodies of the two Palestinians that were
vandalized the headquarters’ contents. executed by Hamas for collaboration, and threatened them to take severe measures
- (10/4) The Preventive Security Service affiliated to the Palestinian National Authority against them should they attempt to go to the morgue at al-Shifaa government
detained the journalist Samed Dweikat, after summoning him. hospital.
- (16/4) Israeli forces fired directly at the photojournalists and Palestinian residents during
- (10/4) armed with gas canisters and rubber bullets, Israeli forces attacked the peaceful its incursion into the Shijaia neighbourhood, east of Gaza.
march in Beit Amr in the district of Hebron, and arrested ten protestors, including - (18/4) writers affiliated with Hamas at the Palestine Dialogue network, a subordinate
five Israeli peace activists and Palestinians from the Popular Committee Against group of the Palestinian Information Centre (Hamas’s electronic mouthpiece)
the Wall and Settlements, in addition to arresting the photographer of the Agence renewed their attacks against the Ma’an Palestinian news agency, and accused it
France Presse Hazem Bader, who was released four hours later. of being biased and partial.
- (19/4) the Palestinian National Authority closed down five television stations in Nablus on - (19/4) the Interior Minister in the dismissed government of Hamas Fathi Hammad
the grounds that they did not obtain the proper licences, and are: the Gamma, threatened to prosecute the owners and editors of the websites affiliated to Fatah
Asia, Adwaa, Peace and al-Jalaa television stations. Two other television stations and to punish them, and revealed a plan prepared by his ministry to prosecute
remain operational, which are the Nablus and Panorama television stations them without disclosing further details.
- (21/4) the Palestinian police closed down seven radio stations in Hebron, on the grounds - (20/4) the website Palestine Now, which is affiliated with Hamas, published a sharp attack
that they did not obtain the proper licenses. The stations are: Al-Nawras, Siraj, against the Palestinian National Authority for granting a permit for the Ramallah
Dream, al-Khalil, al-Noujoum, al-Yamama, and al-Amal. Contemporary Dance Festival, and described the latter as being ‘decadent’, and
- (22/4) the management of the Facebook service closed down the page belonging to the as being ‘solely aimed at spreading immorality in the conservative Palestinian
Palestinian director Mohamed Jabr, half an hour after he uploaded his latest film society’.
‘Sajinios’. - (22/4) the weekly al-Istiqlal newspaper, which is affiliated with the Islamic Jihad group,
- (23/4) the Israeli forces have stepped up their campaign against journalists and Arab attacked the rap bands that started performing in Gaza, and considered this issue
and foreign activists who participated in the Bil’in Fifth Conference on Popular to be ‘a new form of cultural invasion aimed at destroying what is left of the
Resistance against the wall and against the settlements in Ramallah, arresting four fundamentals of Arab and Islamic culture, intellect and heritage”.
Arab and foreign activists, and detaining the photographer of al-Hayat al-Jadida - (24/4) the Maltese writer, human rights activist and journalist Bianca Zamet (28 years
[the new life] Muhib Barghouti. old) was injured along with five Palestinians, when they came under fire from
- (24/4) Israeli forces used the European Agency’s photographer in Hebron Najeh Hashlamoun Israeli soldiers, while participating in a protest march against the security zone
as a human shield in the confrontations that erupted with the residents of Beit that prevents farmers from reaching their lands east of al-Maghazi camp in central
Amr. The soldiers also confiscated Hashlamoun’s camera and forced him to sit Gaza.
on the hood of the car, while dozens of residents were hurling stones in their - (24/4) the police force affiliated with the Hamas dismissed government detained the
direction. Hashlamoun subsequently suffered from asphyxiation, and was subjected B-Boy group, which consists of thirteen young men, while performing their break
to the risk of being hit by stones. dance routines at the Rashad Shawa auditorium. The police assaulted them
- (26/4) the intelligence service summoned the writer Muhannad Salahat after issuing a physically, prevented them from continuing their performance and confiscated
warrant that required his presence on the first of May, and a threat of issuing their ID cards and mobile phones before shoving them violently into police cars
an arrest warrant against him should he fail to comply. This followed a series of and took them to the al-Abbas police station where they were detained for five
threats and repeated arrests in less than a month. hours.
- (27/4) the Preventive Security Service released the writer Walid Hodali several hours after
he was detained without clarifications. Members from this security service had
raided his home in al-Bireh, and confiscated his computer and a number of his
files.
- (30/4) Israeli forces arrested the crew working for Al-Jazeera, which consisted of the
cameraman Majdi bannoura, and the technical assistant Nader Abu Zard, during the
march in Bil’in. The Israeli forces had ambushed the protestors and arrested four
individuals, including the crew from Al-Jazeera, in addition to the Irish journalist
Tommy Donald and a foreign peace activist. They were released later at night.

Gaza: 
The wave of summonses against journalists and writers has returned to the limelight, and
almost overshadowed the semi-organized campaign against Western-dance troupes in the
Strip which culminated with the Hamas police force arresting the members of the ‘Break
Dance’ troupe while it was performing onstage. The series of violations also witnessed the
6

The SKeyes centre report on violations against media and cultural freedom in April 2010
- (25/4) members from the internal security forces affiliated to the dismissed Hamas
government left a summoning notice for the writer and novelist Atef Abu Seif at
his home, following an altercation that took place between him and members
from the internal security forces at the sit-in camp for the prisoner Ahmad Sabah
in the Erez area. On the next day, Abu Seif went to the internal security office
in Jabalia, and was questioned regarding the incident, before being subsequently
released an hour later.
- (25/4) the Palestine Today News Agency, which is affiliated with the Islamic Jihad group,
attacked the Reuters News Agency for publishing an advertisement to track the
kidnappers of Gilad Shalit. According to the spokesman for the Hamas government
Taher Nunu, “the advertisement violates Palestinian national security”, who also
stressed that it need to be retracted immediately. On April 27, Reuters clarified
that the advertisement was published automatically through Google AdSense, and
that it was removed immediately as the agency is committed to independence
and integrity.
- (25/4) The Ministry of Information in the Hamas dismissed government demanded the
correspondent of al-Hayat al-Jadida- which is published in the city of al-Bireh near
Ramallah- the journalist Noufouth Bakri, to apply for a permit to use her house as
a media office, “in case she is using it for her press-related work”.
- (27/4) the Media Office of the Hamas dismissed government summoned SKeyes’s
correspondent in the Strip, the journalist and writer Asmaa al-Ghoul, in a telephone
call in which she was told she must present herself at the office, in order to from the Panorama newspaper and the website Panet, against the backdrop
inquire about “some editing policies adopted by SKeyes in its news, and whether of the picture they had taken of two demonstrators raising pictures of the
the latter has obtained a permit from the Ministry of Information to operate as Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah and Emad Mughniyeh, during the
a media centre”. Earth Day demonstration. Subsequently, several human rights groups condemned
- (29/4) during a ceremony honouring journalists and media institutions, the head of the the summoning and the questioning of the journalists, and the attempts to recruit
Hamas dismissed government Ismail Haniyeh proposed an initiative to end tension them as informers.
in the media and mutual incitement between the rival Palestinian groups “in order - (16/4) in a report published by the extremist Israeli right-wing organization Im Tirtzu,
to facilitate the task for national reconciliation”. the latter waged a fierce campaign of incitement against Adalah - the Legal Centre
for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and against the New Israel Fund and numerous
The 1948 territories and East Jerusalem: other Palestinian, Arab and Israeli human rights groups because of their “support
 Israeli troops continued their violations against Palestinian journalists and writers, and for or involvement in the indictment of Israeli ministers and army officers for war
foreign peace activists in April. They prevented the head of the Committee for the Defence crimes in courts overseas”.
of Freedoms in the Territories of 1948 Amir Makhoul from travelling, under the grounds - (24/4) several journalists and photographers suffered light injuries, after being hurdled
that “he is a threat to state security”. The Israeli authorities also prevented the writer Alaa with stones by protestors who tried to prevent them from doing their jobs and
Hleihel from travelling to participate in a festival in Beirut, summoned the journalist Omar covering the unrest that erupted in Silwan, when the youths there tried to defy
Dalasha and Alaa Badrana for questioning, and arrested French peace activists during the the protest organized by extremist right wing settlers.
opening ceremony of the Rachel Corrie Garden. Four Israeli human rights activists were also - (27/4) Adalah - the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, demanded the Israeli
arrested in Sheikh Jarrah and were banished from the area for a period of one week. This Interior Minister Eli Yishai and the Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to repeal
coincided with a fierce campaign of incitement against the Adalah centre, and against a the order “banning the head of the Committee for the Defence of Freedoms in
number of other human rights organizations that are critical of Israel. The details of these the Territories of 1948 Amir Makhoul from travelling, as it is unconstitutional and
violations are listed as follows: illegal”.
- (29/4) Twenty Members of Knesset from both the government coalition and the opposition
- (1/4) The number of proposed racial laws that are discriminatory against the Arabs in introduced a new law for approval in the Knesset, which would outlaw Adalah and
general and Palestinians in particular, increased in the Knesset, which is dominated other anti-Israeli groups.
by a right-wing and extreme right-wing majority, reaching 21 draft laws.
- (7/4) the Israeli Police arrested two French foreign peace activists on charges of Jordan: 
assaulting settlers, during the opening ceremony of the Rachel Corrie Children’s The tense and charged atmosphere that surrounded the media and cultural scene in Jordan
Garden in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. abated, and no violations or incidents were recorded in April except for three separate
- (9/4) The Israeli police arrested four Israeli activists during their participation in the incidents, most notably the memo issued by the Jordanian Press and Publications Department
weekly protest march in Sheikh Jarrah, and claimed that they refused to obey banning the media from publishing any news item related to the issue of alleged corruption
orders and join the rest of the protesters in the area allocated to them. in the petroleum refinery expansion project. The details of these incidents are listed as
- (10/4) the Israeli authorities banned Amir Makhoul, the head of the Committee for the follows:
Defence of Freedoms, a subordinate body of the High Follow Up Committee, and - (6/4) the Jordanian Press and Publications Department circulated a second memo
the director of the Arab Associations Union in the territories of 1948 ‘Ittijah’ confirming the decision of the General Prosecutor in the State Security Court to
[Direction], from travelling until late June, in a decision issued by the Israeli ban the local media from publishing any news or commentary related to the issue
Interior Minister Eli Yishai, on the grounds that he “is a threat to state security”. of alleged corruption in the Jordanian petroleum refinery expansion project, except
Makhoul was informed of the decision during his trip to Jordan at the Sheikh with prior approval, subject to prosecution and legal action.
Hussein [border] crossing. - (10/4) the editors of the Jordanian websites ‘Ammoun’ and ‘Kul al-Ordonn’, and the news
- (13/4) the Israeli Supreme Court issued its decision in the petition filed by the Adalah sites ‘Jarassa’ and ‘Saraya’, boycotted the National Conference for Media organized
[Justice] centre in the case involving the writer and journalist Alaa Hleihel, in by the Jordanian Press Syndicate in the Dead Sea over three days.
which the court allowed him to travel to participate in the Beirut 39 Festival. - (19/4) the ‘Journalists with a stay of execution’ group filed a lawsuit against the Jordanian
However, the stalling by the Israeli Interior Ministry of the legal proceedings made Television and Radio Corporation and its chairman Saleh Qallab, to appeal the
it virtually impossible for him to travel on time. decision to sack 16 trainees from the group’s members before their training at
- (14/4) The Israeli police questioned the Arab journalist Omar Dalasha and Alaa Badrana the corporation ended.
7

Palestinian military courts... a flagrant violation of freedoms?! 


On the eleventh of May, the Military Court journalist Mustafa Sabri who was arrested against public order regardless of the commensurate with the Palestinian
in the city of Nablus in the West Bank by the security services more than twenty identity of its perpetrators, be they military reality, which has much changed with the
sentenced the human rights activist Hassan times since 2007. personnel or civilians. establishment of the Palestinian National
al-Zagha to two years in prison. In truth, The former head of the military judiciary, Authority in 1994”.
this is the second sentence of its kind issued A legal dispute ... and Major General Abdel Aziz Wadi says: “the Meanwhile, the Palestinian Independent
by the court against detainees in cases freedoms are the victim  military judiciary is doing its patriotic duty. Commission for Human Rights, ‘The
involving the freedom of opinion, following The legal dispute raging between the civilian When the civilian citizen commits any crime Ombudsman Office’, stresses that ‘the
the ruling against the correspondent of Al- judiciary, legal experts and human rights involving military affairs, he must appear adoption of the Revolutionary Law of
Aqsa Satellite Channel Tarek Abu Zeid on groups on the one hand, and the military before a military court. As for the crimes of 1979 in the territories controlled by the
February 16, sentencing him to 18 months court on the other hand, is not only limited a civilian nature, these remain within the Palestinian National Authority has no legal
in prison. to the issue of the jurisdictions anointed to purview of the civilian judiciary”. or constitutional basis that justify it, in
Each time the military justice sentences a the military judiciary, but also the extent of The legal expert working with Al-Haq accordance with the decrees published in
political detainee to prison, the Palestinian its constitutionality in the first place. institution Nasser Al-Rayes stresses that “the the Official Gazette and the laws in force
human rights organizations suffer a major The point of contention thus held by the laws of due process and the revolutionary in the territory of the Palestinian National
disappointment, as this only reinforces its civilian judiciary and legal experts is that penal code are no longer valid as per the Authority”.
belief that it is the political will that is the “the military courts have no purview to de facto status quo, because these laws In a special report it published under
prime mover of military justice. detain and imprison civilians”. were put in place to run the affairs of the title ‘the detention of civilians by
Despite the various statements given by In truth, the military judiciary relies on the Palestinian Revolution and the means Palestinian security services at the orders
Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who said that laws drafted by the PLO and endorsed by to defend it. It used to apply to the of the military court’, the commission said
“the law is above everyone”, and that “we the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat special Palestinian community during the that “Decree No.1 for 1995 issued by
must respect and execute the rulings issued in 1979. Palestinian Revolution. However, we are the late President Yasser Arafat was clear
by the Palestinian courts”, it remains that The most significant of these laws, which the talking today about a Palestinian authority in that its first article, which stipulated
the military court is insisting each time military judiciary considers as its main legal that is at the head of several legislative, the following: the enforcement of laws,
on the complete disregard of the rulings and legislative source, are the Revolutionary judicial and executive institutions, and regulations and orders that were applicable
of civilian courts, specifically, those of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the hence, we are talking about an entity that prior to 5/6/1965 must continue in the
Supreme Court of Justice. Revolutionary Penal Code of 1979. closely resembles a state”. Palestinian territories (the West Bank and
Al-Zagha and Abu Zeid had obtained an Ever since that time, these laws became Al-Rayes then adds: “there are no forces Gaza) until they are unified”.
acquittal from the Supreme Court of Justice, in force in the Palestinian Diaspora, and in the Palestinian territories called ‘the The report, which was prepared by the
and a ruling demanding the military wherever the forces of the Palestinian Palestinian Revolution forces’ today. We lawyer at the commission Ghandi Rab’i,
judiciary to release them on the grounds Revolution were present. In the beginning, have a security agency called the National also mentions that “the decree has clearly
that their detention is illegal. However, the the provisions of this judiciary were applied Security Forces, which is governed by pointed to the laws, regulations and orders
military judiciary and the security services to the Palestinian military personnel, and agreements and a chain of command in force in the territories controlled by the
affiliated with it have complied with the also to the civilians who committed offences that contradict the Revolutionary Penal Palestinian National Authority. Since the
Palestinian judiciary. against the Palestinian Revolution. To date, Code itself”. He gives an example of the Revolutionary Law was never in force in
The Supreme Court of Justice mentioned in these laws are still in effect, for example, in contradiction between these laws and these territories, applying it is a violation
its ruling that “the detention of civilians the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. the current reality, saying: “according to of the Presidential Decree”.
by the military judiciary is in violation The Palestinian Basic Law, which is the the revolutionary law of the Palestinian
of the Palestinian Basic Law and the equivalent of the constitution, listed the Liberation Organization, those who ‘arrest Why isn’t the military
Palestinian Code of Criminal Procedures, purviews of military courts in Article (101), a freedom fighter or prevent him from judiciary being prosecuted?
and hence, all detentions carried out by second paragraph, which mentioned that carrying out certain actions’ are punished An obvious question rises here: why don’t
the military judiciary are null and void. “military courts are established by special by the death sentence”. But he wonders: the Palestinian human rights organizations
The detained defendant must be released laws, and these courts have no jurisdiction “how can one interpret and execute this sue the officials at the head of the military
immediately, unless another case against or purview beyond military affairs”. provision, given the current reality created judicial commission on charges of failing to
him is pending”. But for the senior officials in the military by the Oslo agreement?” execute the orders of Palestinian courts,
The Attorney General Ahmad al-Mughni judiciary, the word ‘military affairs’ is not Al-Rayes believes that “the Palestinian and for their responsibility for the torture
says: “the military judiciary has usurped its confined only to military personnel, but community is in need for a set of new of hundreds and the death of four citizens
capacity and seized the jurisdiction of the instead applies to any crime or offense legislations on military affairs that are in military prisons as a result of torture
civilian judiciary”. or neglect?
According to various Palestinian human Article (106) of the Basic Law states that
rights organizations such as ‘Al-Haq’ “all judicial decisions must be enforced,
Institution and the Independent Commission and refraining from doing so or stalling
for Human Rights, “the military court did their execution in any manner is a crime
not implement any of the 100 or more punishable by imprisonment, and dismissal
rulings issued by the Supreme Court of if the offender is a public officer or civil
Justice, except after stalling and delays, and servant. The sentenced has the right to file
in many instances, [there was] complete a direct complaint before the competent
refusal”. court, and the National Authority shall
For this reason, the majority of the guarantee full compensation for him”.
detainees consider resorting to the Supreme According to Al-Rayes, many Palestinian civil
Court of Justice as being useless, because society institutions working in the field of
their detention is politically, and not legally, human rights and freedoms are seriously
motivated. This is particularly valid when considering legal action against those who
experience has shown that the security issue orders of detention and arrest against
services do not respect any rulings issued civilians, i.e. the head of the military judicial
by this court, as corroborated by the commission, before European courts.
8
Samir Kassir Foundation, Aref Sagheih Bldg. Ground Floor, Str. 63, Al-Zahrani, Seiofi, Beirut, Lebanon
Tel:/Fax: 00961 1 397334 Email: info@skeyesmedia.org

The Israeli forces wage war against the solidarity foreign activists
The Israeli authorities’ move to deny world, states issue laws then enforce them,
entry to the American thinker Noam while taking care that these laws do not
Chomsky into Palestine, on the sixth of violate international law and conventions
May, caused a storm of criticism and on human rights; however, Israel does the
reactions condemning Israel for its policy exact opposite of this”.
of oppression. But what many people SKeyes attempted to determine the specific
do not know is that Israel dealt with number of foreign solidarity activists who
Chomsky in the same manner that it were denied entry by Israel, whether
deals with tens of international peace and from Palestinian or Israeli human rights
solidarity activists, whom Israel prevents organizations, but to no avail.
from entering Palestine as punishment for According to Sam Bahour, a member in
their support for Palestinian struggle and the ‘Right to Entry’ movement: “Nobody
determination. has accurate numbers except the Israeli
Chomsky travelled to Palestine at the authorities, specifically the intelligence
invitation of the Bir Zeit University, service, as the latter is the party
one of the largest Palestinian academic responsible for giving the go-ahead for
institutions, to give a series of lectures. granting activists entry visas”.
However, hundreds of peace activists He also said: “Israel is adamant on
whose names and numbers are impossible keeping these numbers a secret so as not
to learn exactly, and who came to in cold blood, and injuring and arresting from ISM Neta Golan, “Israel is targeting to be exposed, because it denies entry
partake in the peaceful marches against hundreds of others partaking in the foreign activists through assaults and to hundreds of citizens into Palestinian
the settlements and the racial separation peaceful popular marches against the wall arrests. The Israeli military order is territories to express their solidarity with
barrier, have all met with the same and the settlements, Israel began carrying targeting the foreign activists, and after the Palestinians against the appropriation
fate, and were ‘denied entry for security out ‘soft and silent’ expulsions against placing many restrictions on them to of their lands, which are then used to
reasons’ or ‘denied entry’ without any them, in order to avoid any controversy enter the Palestinian territories, Israel is build settlements and the racial separation
clarifications. or damage to its diplomatic relations with currently preventing hundreds of them barrier”.
The influx of foreign peace and solidarity the activists’ home countries. from reaching the Palestinian territories According to human rights sources,
activists into Palestine dates back to Al- These Israeli tactics aimed at expelling each month”. the activists who manage to enter the
Aqsa Intifada in the year 2000, when the all foreign activists reached a peak when She also says: “around 5 to 6 foreign Palestinian territories at present are those
main motivation for their visit was to Israel issued a military order, known to activists arrive each week to the who have come on tourist visas to Israel,
learn the truth about what is going on the Palestinians as the ‘expulsion order’ or Palestinian borders. However, everyone and have moved from there to partake
in this hot spot, which is a major source military order no. 1650. knows that obtaining an entry permit in the peaceful marches alongside the
of news published by international news Through this military order, Israel wanted is completely controlled by the Israeli Palestinians against Israel, in order to
agencies. to achieve the complete expulsion of any authorities. For this reason, Israel denies avoid detection”.
Nearly a year after the Intifada, the individuals present in the West Bank that them entry on arrival and does not grant
Israeli authorities became aware that haven’t obtained a permit from the Israeli them visas”. Solidarity outside Palestine
the activists are no longer individuals, Military Governor. Corroborating sources confirmed to SKeyes The solidarity activists who were denied
but belong to groups now, and that the Moreover, the expulsion orders also affect that “Israel indeed denied entry to more entry into Palestine by Israel have found
pictures they take of the Israeli violations the Palestinians whose ID cards show that than two thousand international solidarity another way to express their solidarity
or assaults against the activists of the they reside in the Gaza Strip, or that they and peace activists since October 2009”. with the Palestinian cause, but this time
Intifada, and the demolition of homes, are came from Jordan with a visit visa, and Golan comments on this by saying: “Israel abroad, by working on raising awareness in
now being published all around the world. also the Palestinians who hold Arab or does not want to create for itself any the ranks of the worldwide public opinion
This tarnished Israel’s reputation in front foreign passports, and who travelled to problems with embassies and consulates regarding the massacres of Israel and
of the international public opinion, and as the Palestinian territories by obtaining a by prosecuting peace activities present in the violations that completely disregard
a result, Israel received the worst approval visa, in addition to foreign activists. The the Palestinian territories. For this reason, international law and international
rates ever in opinion polls. Israeli military order which considers each Israel denies them entry at the border conventions on human rights.
But since 2002, and in conjunction with individual in the abovementioned group an crossings”. A number of foreign solidarity activists
the military operation named Defensive ‘infiltrator’, was issued in October, 2009, She also stresses that the major banned from entering Palestine, such as
Shield, carried out by the Israeli and was kept secret. However, the Israeli development in this case “is the fact that such as Paul Larudee, Greta Berlin, and
authorities in the cities and camps of press exposed this matter and published Israeli troops are now raiding the places Mary Hughes, founded with other colleagues
the West Bank, Israel began enforcing it in March 2010, and as of April 13, this of residence of solidarity activists, and the Free Gaza Movement, which aims
strict measures against foreign peace order became effective. arresting them there, although all these at raising awareness in their European
activists, leading to the martyrdom of places lie in Zone ‘A’ as designated by communities regarding the suffering in
several of them whether in the West Foreign activists: the Oslo Agreement signed between the the Gaza Strip, and at organizing ships to
Bank or the Gaza Strip: these include personas non grata Israelis and the Palestinians in 1994”. sail from Cyprus and other Mediterranean
the American activist Rachel Corrie in According to the International Solidarity The Oslo Agreement stipulates that the countries and transport aid to the people
2003, and the British peace activist Movement (ISM) established at the end Palestinian National Authority has full of Gaza.
Thomas Peter Hurndall (22 years) who of 2000, the Israeli forces are closing sovereignty and control of the areas Huwaida Arraf, in a telephone
was killed by Israeli forces less than a in on all foreign solidarity and peace in the ‘A’ zone, and hence, the Israeli conversation with SKeyes from Spain, says:
month after Corrie was killed. He was activists, and it is evident whether from raids in these areas are a breach of this “I am currently working alongside many
shot by an Israeli sniper on 11/4/2003 the statements given by the commanders agreement. foreign activists on sending an aid ship
and remained in a state of clinical death of the Israeli army, or from its practices Golan says: “in the past few months, the to the Gaza Strip, in order to break the
until he was pronounced dead by the on the ground, that these activists are Israeli army arrested five activists at dawn siege and raise awareness in the world
Royal British Hospital on 13/1/2004. now personas non grata. from places lying in the ‘A’ zone.” She regarding the suffering of the women and
After killing a number of peace activists In the words of the Canadian activist also adds: “as it is known all around the children in Gaza”.

“the Contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Samir Kassir Foundation and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union”.