20 Jul, 2023


PA troops arrest Palestinian journalist for criticizing political arrests

The Cradle News Desk

News Desk 

JUL 14, 2023

Aqil Awawdeh was taken from his workplace hours after he strongly refuted claims from PA officials saying there are ‘no political arrests’ in the West Bank

Palestinian Authority (PA) forces arrested journalist Aqil Awawdeh on 13 July after he refuted a statement from PA officials claiming there are no political arrests in the occupied West Bank.

“There is no case of arrest on the basis of political affiliation in the West Bank, and all that is being circulated about its existence are baseless rumors,” the PA statement released on Thursday reads.

Moments later, Awawdeh took to social media to refute this claim, highlighting that students and journalists are arrested regularly for supporting the resistance.

“By God’s life, if we eat fodder or barley, our minds will be respected more than this,” Awawdeh says in his video.

تعليق الصحفي عقيل عواودة الذي اعتقلته أجهزة أمن السلطة قبل قليل، على تصريح الناطق باسم الأجهزة الأمنية والذي زعم فيه بأنه لا يوجد اعتقال سياسي في الضفة. pic.twitter.com/yoObUsWIgN

— المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام (@PalinfoAr) July 13, 2023

Hours after posting this video, PA troops took Awawdeh from his workplace in Ramallah under charges of “insulting the security services and leaders of Fatah.” Officials have yet to issue a statement on his arrest.

At least 54 political prisoners are currently being held in PA prisons, as the PA regularly hands over detainees directly to the Israeli army, Resistance News Network reported via Telegram.

Two years ago, Awawdeh was severely beaten inside a police station after covering a protest against the PA.

As discontent with PA rule in the occupied West Bank continues to grow exponentially, officials have maintained their grip on power by violently silencing dissent and crushing popular mobilizations.

In June 2021, Palestinian activist Nizar Banat was beaten to death by PA troops for accusing the PA of corruption and criticizing Ramallah’s security cooperation with the Israeli military. Last December, Banat’s family took the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC), accusing the PA of alleged war crimes and torture.

Last month, the repressive tactics of the PA once again made headlines following the violent arrest of student leader Abdul Majeed Hassan from his home in Ramallah.

“From the scene of the arrest, we thought that the kidnappers were Israeli undercover units since they have arrested many university students in this brutal way. Beating, dragging, undressing, and screaming were all Israeli means of arrest, but unfortunately, they were mimicked by the Palestinian security services against Abdul Majeed,” Ibrahim Bani Odeh told Middle East Eye (MEE) about Hassan’s arrest.

PA troops arrest Palestinian journalist for criticizing political arrests (thecradle.co)

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