Beirut, September 4, 2019 -- Israeli authorities should publicly file charges against Palestinian journalist Abdul Mohsen Shalaldeh or release him immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
On August 17, at dawn, Israeli security forces arrested Shalaldeh, a freelance journalist who covers human interest stories and publishes video reporting on his YouTube channel, after raiding the journalist’s home in the village of Sa’ir, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, according to the journalist’s brother, Loay Shalaldeh, who spoke with CPJ via messaging app, news reports, and a report by Palestinian press freedom organization MADA.
Security forces detained Abdul Mohsen Shalaldeh at Ofer Prison and, on August 20, the Ofer Military Court sentenced him to four months in administrative detention without charge, his brother told CPJ.
“Israel’s use of administrative detention to hold journalists without charge runs completely contrary to its professed values of democracy and rule of law,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Representative Ignacio Miguel Delgado. “We call on Israeli authorities to either state publicly any charges against Palestinian journalist Abdul Mohsen Shalaldeh or release him immediately.”
Loay Shalaldeh told CPJ that he believes his brother was arrested for his journalism, citing his previous arrests, and said he was afraid that his brother’s detention could be renewed in four months without authorities revealing any charges against him. Abdul Mohsen Shalaldeh formerly worked for the Hamas-affiliated news website Quds News Network, and was arrested twice in 2018, once by Israeli security forces and a second time by the Palestinian Security Forces, as CPJ reported at the time.
The Israeli Defense Forces did not immediately reply to CPJ’s emailed request for comment.
Israeli forces arrested Palestinian journalist Mohammed Anwar Muna on August 1, 2018, as CPJ reported at the time; he remains in administrative detention without any charges filed against him, according to news reports.