Beirut, April 18, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed concern about the arrest of Hazem Naser, a Palestinian cameraperson and video editor for An-Najah Broadcasting Channel (NBC).
Palestinian Preventive Security Forces today at approximately 12:30 a.m. arrested Naser at home in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, according to news reports and Naser’s sister, Sahar Naser, who lives with Naser at the family home.
“They had a search warrant, so they searched the house, but didn’t seize anything. When the search was complete, they arrested my brother Hazem without mentioning any charge of any reason for his arrest,” Sahar Naser told CPJ.
CPJ was unable to determine Hazem Naser’s whereabouts or if he had been charged.
“We are concerned about the arrest of our colleague Hazem Naser given the Palestinian Authority’s record on respecting the rights of independent journalists,” said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney from New York City. “The authorities must explain immediately on what grounds they snatched this journalist away from his home in the middle of the night.”
The Palestinian Interior Ministry, which oversees the Preventive Security Forces, did not immediately respond to CPJ’s messages requesting comment.
Since 2015, Naser has worked as a cameraperson and video editor for An-Najah NBC, a station that is affiliated with An-Najah University and is staffed by media professionals and students. The current Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah is also president of the university, which is located in the West Bank city of Nablus.
CPJ was unable to determine what kind of stories Naser usually covers for An-Najah NBC.
Naser was previously arrested by Israeli forces at a checkpoint south of Nablus in April 2016 and held under administrative detention for eight months. He was released in November 2016, according to news reports.
Before working at An-Najah NBC, Naser worked as photographer, cameraman, and video editor for the Palestinian media production companies Ramsat and Transmedia.