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Haniyeh orders release of journalists from Gaza jails
Published Monday 28/01/2013 (updated) 30/01/2013 13:57
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GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has ordered the release of journalists recently detained in the Gaza Strip, a government official said Monday.

Ihab al-Ghussain, head of the government information office, said in a statement that security services would release the journalists on Monday.

On Sunday, Haniyeh asked for the detained journalists' files to review their cases after the detention of six reporters sparked criticism from local and international press freedom groups.

The public freedoms committee, a body set up to implement national reconciliation, met on Monday for the first time in around a year and secured an agreement from Gaza's security services to free the journalists, said committee representative Khalid al-Batsh.

Al-Batsh said some of the journalists had already been released.

On Wednesday, the Hamas government flatly denied arresting any journalists, a Ma'an correspondent said after a meeting with interior ministry officials in Gaza City.

A statement from the interior ministry said that "The summons of a number of persons with different jobs was to question them on certain issues that threaten the security of the community."

It added: "Those persons are not journalists at all. Even those who work as journalists use this field as a cover to carry out suspicious acts."

The journalists are employees of al-Katab satellite channel, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, the websites Fatah Youth and Aswar press, and al-Hurriya radio as well as other news outlets.
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1 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
28/01/2013 21:12
Human and civil rights are alive and well! Well, they are, but not in the Palestinian territories where both Hamas and Fatah deny their people freedom of speech and freedom of the press (among other things).

2 ) god bless / the p.m.
29/01/2013 02:21
great act of charity

3 ) Susan Johnson / US
29/01/2013 07:55
Brian, Are you saying Human and Civil rights are alive and well in Israel? I beg to differ with you! Jewish rights are not the same as those of Palestinians/Muslims.. The West Bank and Gaza rights' are lacking; they've been stripped away by the Israeli government's Occupation. Israel builds illegal Jewish settelments where the settlers receive preferential treatment. Israel, backed by their IDF, denies Palestinians their land, water, freedom; basic human and civil rights.
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