Palestinian security forces raided the house of a Palestinian journalist Saturday and arresting her brothers in an apparent attempt to force her to surrender, reports Maan News. Majdoline Hassouneh refused a summons from the Palestinian Authority [PA], which questioned her coverage of demonstrations by the families of political prisoners.
The PA's persecution and detention of journalists "amounts to restrictions of fundamental freedoms and freedom of expression," the Palestinian Media Association said that in a statement. An attempt to silence Hassouneh and other reporters "requires a firm stand from all the media and their respective representatives to end such practices," the PMA's statement added.
Hassouneh has twice refused to report for interrogation at the PA's Preventive Security Force headquarters in Nablus. The award-winning journalist claims that the PA wants to force her to sign a document limiting her freedom of expression in her reports. After her refusal, police raided her family's home. "They arrested my two brothers because I wasn't at home," she said. "I'm not going to report for interrogation."
Intimidation of journalists remains an issue in the Palestinian Authority. In January, the PA charged reporter Mamdouh Hamamreh with libel and slander for allegedly insulting President Mahmoud Abbas on his Facebook Page. Last year, another journalist was arrested for reporting on a dispute between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, the Jerusalem Post noted.