Israel releases Al Jazeera reporter hours after arrest | Free Press News

Al Jazeera’s Arabic-speaking reporter Givara Budeiri was released after being arrested by Israeli police hours while reporting on demonstrations near Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem.

When the Israeli police arrested her on Saturday, they attacked a Jerusalem journalist based in the Doha media network and destroyed equipment belonging to Al Jazeera photographer Nabir Mazawi. Boudari’s arrest aroused strong condemnation from press freedom advocates and media watchdogs.

“They come from all directions, I don’t know why, they kicked me to the wall,” Boudari told Al Jazeera shortly after his release late on Saturday.

“They kicked me into the car in a very bad way… They kicked me from all directions,” she said.

Boudari is reporting on a sit-in commemorating the 54th anniversary of Naksa. It means “frustration”, a term used by the Palestinians to describe the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967.

For weeks, Sheikh Jarrah has also been a venue for demonstrations to support Palestinian families facing deportation and to make way for Jewish settlers.

Since 2000, Boudari has been working as a reporter for Al Jazeera. When she was arrested, she was wearing a body armor marked “news” and held an Israeli Government Press Office (GPO) card.

However, she said that when she was taken to the police station, she was “treated as a criminal” and prevented from taking off her heavy body armor or closing her eyes. She said the police accused her of kicking a female soldier-she vehemently denied the accusation.

Budeiri stated that she was released on condition that she would not go to Sheikh Jarrah within 15 days.

Dr. Mostfa Suger, Acting Director General of Al Jazeera Media Network, Strongly condemned arrest.

“The systematic attacks on our journalists completely violate all international conventions. Today’s violent actions by the Israeli occupying forces against Givara Budeiri and Nabil Mazzawi completely ignore the basic human rights of journalists,” he said in a statement.

“In recent weeks, Gaza and occupied Jerusalem have witnessed the Israeli authorities using intimidation of journalists to suppress their daily activities,” Souag added.

‘Absolutely appalling’

Earlier, Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdul Hamid reported in occupied East Jerusalem that Boudari had been arrested for no reason, and that she had tried to retrieve and show Israel at the request of the police. Press card issued.

“She was pushed and the situation continued when she tried to get her press card. Then when the photographer tried to approach her, his camera was smashed,” Abdul Hamid Say.

“We talked to several witnesses, and they all said that there was no reason to cause such tension, and it was not clear why they decided to go there specifically. [after] Givara and other reporters are doing what she is doing,” she said.

The photo obtained by Al Jazeera shows the moment Boudari was arrested.

The Israeli police also dispersed dozens of demonstrators who managed to reach the blockade.

Barbara Trionfi of the International Press Research Institute expressed shock at the arrest.

“This is absolutely shocking,” she told Al Jazeera.

“In the past few weeks and months, we have seen the Israeli army carry out many targeted attacks on journalists. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case,” Trionfi added.

“This behavior of the Israeli army is absolutely unacceptable.”

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) spokesperson Sabrina Bennui told Al Jazeera that the arrest was shocking and unacceptable.

“This is a clear violation of freedom of the press because this reporter can be clearly identified when wearing a news vest, and the Israeli authorities have a clear intention to prevent the reporter from working and reporting on the ground,” she said. Say.

On May 15, an Israeli aid raid Destroyed a building During the 11-day bombing of coastal enclaves, media offices for Al Jazeera and other media were set up in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army “violates” the rights of journalists

According to Reporters Without Borders, at least 14 Palestinian journalists have been detained and administratively detained by the Israeli army in recent weeks.

Administrative detention is a legal procedure that allows Israel to imprison Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory without charge or trial, which can be extended for up to six months.

For decades, the Israeli authorities have used this procedure to make arrests based on “secret evidence”. Detainees are usually unaware of the charges against them and are not allowed to defend themselves in court.

Two Palestinian journalists-Zeina Halawani and Wahbe Mikkieh-were Be beaten and detained The Israeli army was in Sheikh Jala last week.

The couple was detained for five days before being released on bail and then placed under house arrest for a month.

Several Palestinian journalists with media cards were barred by Israeli police from entering Sheikh Jalah. They claimed that they needed a GPO card.

In the RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index, Israel ranks 86th out of 180 countries/regions.

“This [Israeli military] The rights of Palestinian journalists are often violated, especially when they report on demonstrations in the West Bank or Gaza Strip,” Reporters Without Borders said.

In a report (PDF) Published last year, the Palestine Center for Human Rights recorded 98 attacks on journalists by Israeli forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The report stated that at least 40 people were injured by different bullets and two of them were “blind in one eye.”

It added that at least 14 people were attacked by “evidence of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” and 26 others were arrested.

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