Comment at end
17th February, 2010
Journalists’ Groups Demand Hamas Free Detained British Journalist (source)
What worries the IFJ is that this incident signals a change in attitude from Hamas in its dealings with local foreign correspondents. Until now Hamas, which took over Gaza from the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, nearly three years ago, has avoided confrontations with foreign journalists.
A spokeswoman for the British consulate in Jerusalem said the British government was “very concerned” and has been in touch with Martin’s family. Raji Sourani, a prominent human rights lawyer in Gaza, said he was asked by Martin to represent him.
BACKGROUND according to The Epoch Times
British documentary filmmaker Paul Martin was arrested in Gaza on Monday by Hamas. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) says that the arrest came just as he was about to give evidence at a military tribunal.
Martin apparently started to present evidence on behalf of a Gaza man accused of collaborating with Israel when the prosecutor intervened and ordered police to arrest him.
According to eyewitness reports obtained by the IFJ, he was taken roughly from the court. Martin was told he was suspected of security offenses and will be held for 15 days. He is being accused of harming Gaza’s security.
The action has raised fears for the safety of foreign correspondents in the Gaza Strip.
If this is accurate – ‘Martin apparently started to present evidence on behalf of a Gaza man accused of collaborating with Israel when the prosecutor intervened and ordered police to arrest him’ – it must be very disconcerting. Even British journalists, some of whom may well be sympathetic to Hamas, are not untouchable.
Nothing to do with this, by any chance?
- Paul Martin has written articles published in The Mirror, The Times and BBC News. Some of Paul Martin’s recent articles
- Frelance Journalists at Increased Risk of Death in 2010