Roy Greenslade
The Guardian (Blog)
April 1, 2011 - 12:00am

Journalists covering protests in Gaza this week have complained that they were obstructed and harassed by Hamas security forces.

Four reporters - Wissam Mohamed Yasin of Al-Hurra; Ayyad Talal Taha and Mohamad al-Hassoun of Radio Watan; and Al-Arabiya cameraman Mamdouh al-Sayyid - claim they were physically assaulted.

A fifth, Wajih al-Najjar, a reporter for the Palestinian news agency WAFA, said he was beaten by police during his five-hour detention.

The New York-based press freedom watchdog, the Committee to Protect Journalists, has condemned the actions.

The attacks followed warnings from the Hamas authorities to news agencies and media organisations not to report on "unauthorised demonstrations."

But Hassan Abu Hashish, head of the Hamas government press office, issued a statement pledging that Hamas "would not interfere with any journalist whatsoever, be it in the form of physical assault, verbal abuse, or humiliation."


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