Dozens protest outside Ma'an Gaza office
Published Saturday 17/08/2013 (updated) 19/08/2013 21:16
Click on image to view slideshow
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Dozens of people demonstrated outside Ma'an News Agency's Gaza bureau on Saturday to protest the agency's coverage of events in Egypt and Gaza.
Over 20 people chanted slogans denouncing the news agency and its editor-in-chief, Nasser Laham.
The Hamas-run ministry of interior in Gaza published a statement late Friday accusing Ma'an of publishing lies about the Gaza Strip, without providing further details.
Head of the Palestinian journalists syndicate Abdul-Nasser Najjar told Ma'an Saturday that Hamas had ordered the demonstration against Ma'an, saying that the Islamist group aims to terrorize media institutions and stands against pluralism.
All journalists that participated in the protest will be blacklisted from the syndicate, he added.
The syndicate is in contact with the Federation of Arab Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists to inform them about Hamas' "crimes" against journalists.
The group is set to hold a counter-demonstration within the coming hours, Najjar added.
Ma'an's Gaza bureau has been closed since July 25.
The attorney-general in the Hamas-run government ordered the closure after Hamas officials accused Ma'an of deliberately publishing "false news reports seeking to incite against Gaza."
"It has become complicit with Egyptian media outlets in incitement against the Strip and making up lies to harm the image of Palestinian resistance," Gaza officials said at the time.
Commenting on the accusations, Ma'an's editor-in-chief Nasser Lahham said "some people in Gaza seemingly went mad after the Muslim Brotherhood rule was ousted in Egypt.
"They take any possible occasion to wage tough attacks against Ma'an News Agency for no reason. We have lodged official complaints to the office of the Gaza premier, to the former Minister of Information Mustafa Barghouthi, to the Ministry of Information and to the union of Palestinian journalists."
The attorney general in Gaza said Friday that the closures of Ma’an Network and al-Arabiya are temporary, but he accused both outlets of disseminating information "unprofessionally."