maandag 11 februari 2008

Gaza rechtbank verbiedt krant wegens kritische cartoon

Een van de vele gevallen van censuur door de Hamas.


Hamas orders closure of newspaper over caricature,7340,L-3505042,00.html

Court orders Fatah-linked newspaper al-Ayyam to halt distribution, publication in Gaza after cartoon on its back page mocked legislators loyal to Hamas
Associated Press
Published: 02.10.08, 17:22

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - A Hamas-dominated court ordered a Palestinian newspaper on Sunday to halt distribution and publication in the Gaza Strip after a cartoon on its back page mocked legislators loyal to the militant group, officials said.

The cartoon was published last November and poked fun at the Hamas-led Gaza government, and its leader, Ismail Haniyeh.

The newspaper al-Ayyam is published privately but has close ties to the rival Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas.

Al-Ayyam is printed in the West Bank, making it unlikely to halt work, but it will now be unable to distribute some 3,500 copies of newspapers in Gaza. The newspaper employs 32 people in the Gaza Strip, said deputy manager Mahdi Masri.

"Their safety will be our utmost priority," Masri said in a telephone interview from the West Bank. In the cartoon, a caricature by artist Baha Bukhari showed a parliamentary session where Haniyeh is speaking to a row of legislators who all look like him and carry photos of him. In the bottom right corner, it is written, "The illegitimate."

'Hamas harmed the Palestinian cause'
Hamas has ruled Gaza since overrunning Abbas' forces there last June. After the Hamas takeover, Abbas established a separate government in the West Bank. Both governments have claimed to be the only legitimate rulers of Gaza. Hassan Abu Hashish, an official in the Hamas-led Ministry of Information, said the newspaper violated publishing laws by offending "The Palestinian legislature and its symbolism."

Hamas policemen briefly halted distribution of al-Ayyam last year, but this was the first formal action the group has taken to halt publication of a rival newspaper. Hamas policemen have also harassed and beaten reporters it considers hostile to the group.

Bukhari, who has worked for al-Ayyam for more than a decade, said he stood by the drawing. "I have a position. (Hamas) harmed the Palestinian cause," he said in a telephone interview from the West Bank. Abbas has also cracked down on reporters and newspapers considered loyal to Hamas in the West Bank.

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