Marking the World Press Freedom Day, which coincides on May 3 every year, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said today that 12 Palestinian journalists are currently held behind Israeli prison bars.
It said the longest serving of these 12 journalists are Mahmoud Essa (three life sentences and 45 years), Basem Khendoggi (three life sentences in prison), Munther Mefleh (30 years) and Ahmad Saifi (17 years).
In addition, the PPS said some of these 12 journalists are held in Israeli detention without charge or trial, based on what the Israeli intelligence describes as the “secret file”.
“The occupation authorities have pursued the policy of arresting journalists and activists in an attempt to undermine their societal, cultural and political role, and prevent them from revealing the crimes of the occupation,” the PPS said on this occasion.
Detention of journalists by Israeli occupation authorities have been on the rise since 2015, when Israeli courts started to use the pretext of “incitement” to justify the detention of journalists and the closure of TVs and media institutions under military orders.