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Sunday, November 4, 2012
PCHR Condemns Prevention of Journalists Shoblaq andAbu-Doghaim from Traveling by the Gaza Government

PCHR
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
PRESS RELEASE
Ref: 114/2012
Date: 04 November 2012

PCHR Condemns Prevention of Journalists Shoblaq and Abu-Doghaim from
Traveling by the Gaza Government

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the prevention of
Majid Shoblaq, a reporter for al-Masrya Channel, and his wife journalist
Hanan Abu-Doghaim, a program host at al-Iman Local Radio Station, from
traveling via Rafah International Crossing Point to participate in a
conference in Cairo, by the Government Media Office and the Crossing's
Security Services. PCHR calls upon the Gaza government and the Attorney
General to end the use of such measures, and to respect press freedom, the
freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of movement, rights which are
ensured under the Palestinian Basic Law and relevant international
standards.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, on Wednesday, 31 October
2012, journalists Majid Farouq Shoblaq and his wife, Hanan Youssif
Abu-Doghaim, went to Rafah International Crossing Point on their way to
travel to Egypt in order to participate in a conference titled "Future
Vision of the Independent Arab Media and Civil Society Organizations,"
organized by the International Center for Information and Development,
taking place on 03 and 04 November 2012, in Cairo.

Upon completing the travel procedures, an Internal Security Service officer
asked Shoblaq to accompany him to the Crossing Point’s security office. In
his testimony to a PCHR fieldworker, Majid Shoblaq, said, "I was
interrogated by the Internal Security Service for approximately 45 minutes.
I was asked about the nature of the conference and the participants'
selection mechanism. I was also questioned about my political affiliation.
Later, they took me out to the waiting room. However, I was taken to
interrogation again about the same issues for approximately 30 minutes. An
Internal Security Service officer confiscated our passports, removed the
traveling stamps and told us to obtain a permit from the Government Media
Office in order to attend the conference.”

Journalist Doghaim also informed PCHR that she was under interrogation at
the same time and about the same issues.

At approximately 13:00 on Thursday, 01 November 2012, Shoblaq was summoned
over the phone by an officer from the Government Media Office. In his
testimony, Shoblaq states: “Immediately, I went to the Government Media
Office and met the officer who called me and another person, who did not
identify himself. The officer informed me that what had happened in the
Crossing Point on Wednesday was a ‘misunderstanding’ and that I should have
gone to the Office and have coordinated with them in relation to the
conference. We talked about the conference's nomination and selection
mechanisms, and eventually, he told me that he has no objection to my
traveling. However, when I asked him if I could travel he said ‘no,’ and
that I should get a permit from the Director of the Office, Mr. Ihab
al-Ghussain."

PCHR condemns the prevention of Journalists Shoblaq and Abu-Doghaim from
traveling to participate in a conference, and:

1. Calls for providing protection to journalists and media, and taking
necessary measures to allow them to work freely, respecting the right to
freedom of opinion and press freedoms;
2. Stresses that the right to freedom of opinion and expression and
press freedoms are guaranteed under the Palestinian Basic Law and relevant
human rights conventions;
3. Calls upon the Palestinian security services to respect international
human rights standards, the Palestinian Basic Law and other relevant laws.

Public Document
**************************************
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8
2824776 - 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip.
E-mail: pchr@pchrgaza.org, Webpage http://www.pchrgaza.org
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