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Two Palestinian journalists arrested

On 16 May 1996, Palestinian journalists Mu'aness Abu-Shilbayeh
and Ussama `Aareff, respectively the soundman and cameraman for
the Saudi television station MBC, were arrested as they were
attempting to enter Israel from Al-Ram. The journalists were told
that they did not have the proper credentials for working in
Israel. Several hours later, `Aareff was released because he was
carrying an Israeli identification card. Abu-Shilbayeh was
detained for 48 hours even though he had been accredited by the
Israeli Government Press Office, which therefore entitled him to
cover the upcoming elections in Israel on 29 May. The two had not
been informed of the cancellation of permits granted to
journalists for covering the elections.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:
  • expressing serious concern over the arrests of Mu'aness Abu-
    Shilbayeh and Ussama `Aareff, even though they had been
    accredited the week before by the Government Press Office
  • protesting against the decision of Israeli authorities to
    prevent until 19 May Palestinian journalists from entering
    Israeli territory

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Shimon Peres
    Prime Minister and Minister of Defence
    Jerusalem, Israel
    Fax: +872 3 691 7915 or +972 2 664 838

    Uri Dromi
    Government Press Office
    Jerusalem, Israel
    Fax: +972 2 244 448/+972 2 233 386

    Copies to:
    Israeli Television
    Fax: +972 2 301 452

    Please copy appeals to the originator if possible.

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