Arrest of Palestinian researcher by Israeli army a continuation of policy to suppress freedom of expression

Skyline International for Human Rights condemned in a statement today the Israeli army’s arrest of the Palestinian researcher and writer, Yasser Manna, and saw it as a continuation of the policy of restricting freedom of opinion and expression and silencing critics of the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians.

It said an Israeli army force arrested the researcher on Israeli affairs, Yasser Manna, while he was passing through the Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus.

It pointed out that Manna, 34, a researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Studies on Israeli Affairs, had previously been arrested several times and spent five years in Israeli prisons and was released in 2021.

Manna’s arrest, according to Skyline, comes in the context of the escalation of Israeli attacks against media professionals and opinion makers in the Palestinian territories.

It said that in April, Israeli forces and settlers carried out 11 attacks against journalists, shooting rubber-coated metal bullets and toxic gas at them, beating them with sticks, kicking and pushing them on the ground, trying to run over some of them and trying to strangle a female journalist while covering the violations of the occupation and its settlers against residents of the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

During the same month, added Skyline, five journalists were detained, held, or summoned and interrogated by the Israeli forces, forcing them not to cover the army’s violations, arresting the journalists Mohammed Badr and Usama al-Ayassa, and detaining the photojournalists Wahba Makkiya and Maher Haroun, and the journalist, Raeda Joulani, who was released on the condition of house arrest and banning her from using social media.

Skyline stressed that these arrests and the unjustified attacks and repression that preceded them constitute a flagrant violation of the rules that guarantee freedom of opinion, expression and journalistic work.

It said the silence by the international community toward the Israeli forces’ violations of the right to freedom of opinion, expression, and journalism constitutes an implicit cover for the continuation of these violations and enhances the chances of impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators of violations in Israel.

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