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PA court orders remand of journalist for 15 days

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A Palestinian Authority court in Ramallah Wednesday ordered the remand into custody for 15 days of a Palestinian journalist who reported about corruption in the Palestinian diplomatic mission in France.
The journalist, Yousef Al-Shayeb, was detained earlier this week following complaints that were filed against him by the head of the mission and PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki.
Shayeb, who works for the Jordanian daily newspaper Al-Ghad, published an investigate report earlier this year in which he claimed that the head of the mission and his deputy were involved in various corruption cases. The report also claimed that Palestinian diplomats in Paris had been trying to recruit Palestinian students to spy on Islamic groups in France.
Shayeb’s detention drew sharp criticism from Palestinian journalists and human rights groups, who accused the PA of violating media freedoms in the West Bank.
PA officials said that the journalist was detained after he refused to reveal the sources of his information.
His lawyer, Daoud Darawi, said that it was the Palestinian media, and not only Shayeb, that was being put on trial.
Darawi said that Palestinian law protects journalists against prosecution and grants them the right not to disclose their sources.
The lawyer said that his client was planning to reveal documents which he relied on during his work on the investigate report.
Dozens of Palestinian journalists staged a sit-in strike in front of the court during Wednesday’s hearing and called for the release of Shayeb.
The journalists carried signs calling on the PA to respect freedom of expression and stop its "transgressions" against reporters.
The Palestinian Writers Union condemned the detention of Shayeb as a "dangerous precedent" and urged Palestinians to raise their voice against the crackdown on freedom of expression.

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