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Report: Rafah Today journalist prevented from travel to US
Published Friday 19/03/2010 (updated) 20/03/2010 10:45
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An undated archive photo of the United States Embassy building in Tel Aviv
[MaanImages]
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer was denied a visa to the United States where he was scheduled to speak in Chicago about the living conditions in Palestine, tour organizers said.

"Effectively canceling a planned speaking tour, the U.S. consulate in the Netherlands has put an extended hold on the visa application of [Omer]," tour organizers in Chicago wrote in a news statement.

When contacted, a representative said, the US Consulate in the Netherlands said it could not provide an update, while the US embassy told organizers they could not help.

The tour would see Omer speak in Santa Fe, Houston, and Chicago, where he would have been hosted by Haymarket Books in Chicago at the Newberry Library, which will reportedly go ahead with the event via skype.

The event is funded by Lannan Foundation, whose focus is the promotion of "cultural freedom, diversity and creativity through projects which support exceptional contemporary artists and writers."

Host organizations in Santa Fe and Houston are considering keeping their events in place as well, a Haymarket spokeswoman said.

Omer - journalist and photojournalist for Rafah Today and correspondent for The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs - will instead speak at all his engagements via skype or video conference, the statement said.

Omer was awarded the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2008 for "his firsthand reportage of life in the besieged Gaza strip."

On his way back to Gaza after accepting the prize in London, Omer was detained, interrogated, and beaten by Israeli security forces and eventually hospitalized with cracked ribs and respiratory problems.
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1 ) SHEREZADE / UK
19/03/2010 21:20
What is the US afraid of, Israels true heinous face being exposed? Stopping journalists and reporters in expressing their freedoms will make no difference whatsoever Israel is doing a good job of showing the world what a evil mask of deceit it has worn. The thug Israeli so called security services know no better behaivior than to beat up and terrorise innocent people. Even animals have more intelligence!

2 ) Ja'abari / Gaza
19/03/2010 23:22
yawn! another 'injustice' story, another they did it to me story. OK we submit palestinians know how to pull a thriller story. I wish at least they sold those fictious stories to their own people. Then a measure of truth would be how many books sold for how much. The fact it is not done tells me palestinians know that these are lies/stories.

3 ) SHEREZADE / UK
20/03/2010 10:20
As we can see from our little European Zionist dwarf Ja'abari's attitude. He not only portrays the obvious Zionist trait of self loathing by taking on mulitiple personalites mainly Palestinian ones to get across a nonsensical ?rant. He just proves my earlier point? "Even animals have more intelligence!"? ? ??
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