Aug 152017

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine denounced and demanded the cancellation of the Palestinian Authority’s so-called “Electronic Crimes Law,” under which dozens of journalists and activists have been pursued and arrested, noting that it is a serious attack on freedom of opinion and expression.

The PFLP noted that this law is a repressive tool in the hands of the Authority against all who disagree with it, oppose its policies and confront its misdeeds.

The Front renewed its call to the PA security services to release all of the journalists detained under the auspices of this controversial law which has been widely rejected by the Palestinian people, demanding the establishment of a code of ethics to prohibit arrests on the basis of expression of opinion or criticism in the West Bank and Gaza.

At a time when the occupation is waging a frantic campaign against journalists, including prosecutions, arrests and attacks, sometimes amounting to direct physical targeting leading to the death and injury of dozens of journalists, the Palestinian Authority is seeking to prosecute and arrest the same journalists. This law is a sword hanging over freedom of the press and freedom of expression exposing the wrongful practices of the ruling Authority.

The Front emphasized the seriousness of the current political situation and the major challenges facing our national project and continuing Zionist crimes against our people requires the Authority to end these ongoing violations of freedom of expression, opinion, and the right to criticize and oppose the policies of the PA. This law is an example of exploiting influence to utilize the judiciary in its favor to suppress criticism and opposition.

Earlier, the PFLP strongly condemned the arrest of journalists by the PA security services in the occupied West Bank and demanded their immediate and unconditional release. The Front considered their arrest a dangerous escalation against journalists and freedom of opinion and expression.

The Front urged the Journalists’ Syndicate, national and Islamic forces and international institutions to take action at all levels to ensure the release of detained journalists and protect Palestinian journalists from prosecution and detention. Further, the Front considered PA statements that accused journalists of “leaking sensitive information” to be illogical, misleading and deceptive about the real reasons for their arrest.

Freedom of the press and the work of journalists are an integral part of the rights of Palestinian citizens.

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