Date: 27 July 2019
ICSPR: The arrest of journalist Thaer al-Fakhouri is new evidence on official Palestinian policies aimed at restricting public freedoms and press.
The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) follows up with deep concern the arrest of journalist Thaer al-Fakhouri (29 years) on Wednesday, 24 July 2019 by the Preventive Security Service.
According to information and family sources, Thaer announced on Thursday starting a hunger strike following extending his detention for an additional 4 days to investigate his responsibility for a Facebook page.
The International Commission expresses deep concern for the arrest of journalist al-Fakhouri, and stresses the need to protect public freedoms and freedom of expression in particular, and stresses that the freedom of opinion and expression, including the freedom of criticism of public authority, is guaranteed by Article 19 of the Palestinian Basic Law of 2003, and under international law and standards, and urging the Preventive Security Service to respect press and media freedoms and freedom of opinion and expression. Therefore:
- ICSPR reminds all of its steadfast and rejecting position of all violations of Palestinian human rights wherever they exist, based on the importance of the inviolability of the rights of Palestinian citizens under any pretext or justification.
- ICSPR considers that the arrest of journalist Thaer al-Fakhouri is a renewed action in the framework of the Palestinian Authority’s insistence on implementing Palestinian government policies aimed at restricting rights and freedoms, especially press freedoms, by manipulating the provisions of the law to serve these policies, which are contrary to the obligations of the PNA under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and the Palestinian Basic Law.
- ICSPR calls upon the Ministry of Interior and the leadership of the security services in the West Bank to take real measures in order to ensure respect for the rights and freedoms that are constitutionally guaranteed in accordance with international human rights standards, especially freedom of opinion and expression.
- ICSPR calls on the Attorney General to intervene immediately to ensure the immediate release of journalist al-Fakhouri.
- ICSPR urges the members of the local Palestinian judiciary to uphold human rights and order the immediate release of any detainee detained for exercising one of his fundamental rights and freedoms.