Court keeps Syrian reporter in pre-trial detention

first_img News Organisation RSF asks ICC prosecutor to say whether Israeli airstrikes on media in Gaza constitute war crimes RSF_en Follow the news on Israel News Help by sharing this information News May 16, 2021 Find out more August 23, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Court keeps Syrian reporter in pre-trial detention June 3, 2021 Find out morecenter_img A Tel Aviv court ruled on 21 August that Ata Farahat, the Golan Heights correspondent of Syrian public television and the Syrian daily Al-Watan, should remain in pre-trial detention. The details of the charges against him were finally given to his lawyers at this hearing, but they were not made public and an earlier court order bans his lawyers from saying anything about the case.“The extension of Farahat’s pre-trial detention without explanation is an abuse of authority,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We still do not know if the charges brought against him are linked to his work as a journalist. As we cannot take a position on the substance of this case, which is subject to censorship, we call on the Israeli authorities to ensure that this journalist’s rights are fully respected.”The next hearing is scheduled for 27 August.___________________________________________________________20.08 – Golan Heights-based reporter held for past three weeksReporters Without Borders called today for the immediate release of Ata Farahat (photo), the correspondent of Syrian public television and the daily newspaper Al-Watan in the Golan Heights, who was arrested on 30 July and is currently held in Al-Jalama prison (14 km southeast of Haifa). His lawyers and the press have been banned from talking about the case. The Golan Heights have been annexed by Israel since 1981.“The Israeli authorities have so far given no explanation for the arrest of this journalist, who still does not know what he is charged with,” the press freedom organisation said. “Has Farahat been arrested simply because he works for Syrian news organisations? This possibility cannot be ruled out for the time being.”Reporters Without Borders added: “There can, furthermore, be no grounds for the order issued by the judicial authorities forbidding Farahat’s lawyers and the Israeli media from referring to the case. We call on the judges to lift this act of censorship.”Members of the Yassam special forces burst into Farahat’s home in Buqata (in the north of the Golan Heights) at around 3 a.m. on 30 July, carried out a search and then took him away. He has been brought three times before a Tel Aviv judge, who each time renewed a provisional detention order.When Reporters Without Borders reached one of Farahat’s lawyers, Majd Abou Saleh, he said he could say nothing about the case for fear of violating the court’s orders.Israel Press Council secretary-general Avi Weinberg told Reporters Without Borders the Israeli courts were issuing this kind of order with increasing frequency. “As official military censorship is not very effective, the courts are nowadays being used to restrict the work of journalists. Requests by prosecutors or the security forces for restrictions on the coverage of certain cases are too readily granted by judges.” The media have been able to get such bans lifted in the past.Farahat is due to appear in court again on 22 August. May 28, 2021 Find out more WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists IsraelMiddle East – North Africa Israel now holding 13 Palestinian journalists to go further Receive email alerts News IsraelMiddle East – North Africa last_img

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