PA urged to release al-Jazeera correspondent in Gaza

Published January 6th, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

A unit of the Palestinian General Intelligence early Monday arrested the Gaza based correspondent for the Qatari TV news channel, al-Jazeera. Seif al-Din Shahin, 34, from Rafah was detained for reporting on the Fatah claim of responsibility for the double suicide bombings in Tel Aviv. 


In a statement, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights condemned this "unlawful arrest and considers it a flagrant violation of the freedom of press and the right to free expression." PCHR urged the Palestinian Authority to immediately release Shahin.  


According to PCHR's investigation, at approximately 02:20 on Monday, a unit of the General Intelligences raided the office of al-Jazeera TV channel in Gaza City and arrested Shahin, without following necessary legal procedures. Shahin has been detained at the headquarters of the General Intelligence in the al-Sudania area in Gaza.  


The arrest came shortly after a live broadcast by al-Jazeera, which covered the Israeli air strikes in Gaza City early Monday. The coverage included a phone call by a person who claimed to be a member of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah Movement.  


The caller claimed al-Aqsa Brigades responsibility for the two suicide bombings in Tel Aviv. He also criticized what he called "the defeatist trend" in the Fatah Movement, referring to a statement issued by Fatah denying its responsibility for the two bombings.  


The correspondent, who has been allowed to keep his cellular phone, said Monday his arrest was the result of a political decision. He added he was being treated well by his interrogators. ( 

© 2003 Al Bawaba (

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