Monday, April 20, 2009

Palestinian Authority Releases Journalist

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders hails the Palestinian Authority's release of Ahmed Bikawi, the satellite TV station Al-Quds correspondent in the West Bank city of Jenin, on 12 April 2009. Two other journalists are still being held by the Palestinian Authority.

Arrested at his Jenin home on 26 January, Bikawi was interrogated at military intelligence headquarters in Ramallah for three days about his work and his political views and was then placed in Jneid prison in Nablus.

"After 72 hours in solitary confinement, I was transferred to a normal cell but I was not allowed to talk to the other detainees," Bikawi told Reporters Without Borders. "After a month, I was treated normally."

After amonth and a half, he was able to speak to his lawyer and receive visits from his family. He was not subjected to violence, he added.

The Al Quds correspondent in Nablus, Samir Khueira, who was arrested two days before Bikawi, was freed on 2 March. Ramallah correspondent Ibrahim Al-Rantissi was interrogated for several hours on 28 January.

Two journalists are still detained by the Palestinian Authority. They are Farid Hamad, the editor of the newspaper "Al Ayyam", who has been held since 29 July 2008, and Ayad Srour, the head of the Yafa press centre, who has been held since 14 October 2008.

Updates the Bikawi case:

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