Home / Uncategorized / Spokesman reportedly threatens Ma’an editor for criticizing Hamas

Spokesman reportedly threatens Ma’an editor for criticizing Hamas

BBC Monitoring

Text of report in English by Palestinian Ma'an News Agency website

    Gaza, 7 July: Last week, the chief editor of Ma'an News Agency received direct threats on his mobile telephone from Hamas spokesperson, Fawzi Barhum, who demanded that Ma'an avoid criticizing the Hamas movement. He threatened that, if Ma'an does not stop criticizing the Hamas movement, they will embark on a campaign of defamation against our news agency and accuse it of reporting false news and of antagonizing the Hamas movement.

    Threats are nothing new to our agency, and our chief editor, in particular, is not influenced by this kind of intimidation. Recently, after several Palestinian leaders lost their balance and many factional spokespersons became politically blind, believing themselves to be more important than Palestine and the Palestinian people, Ma'an News has been the focus of several threats.

    Under such circumstances, Ma'an's administration convened and decided to submit a written complaint to dismissed Prime Minister Isma'il Haniyah, against the threats to defame Ma'an, in an attempt to force us to change our independent and impartial editorial policy.

    The message sent to Isma'il Haniyah by the chief editor read, "Punishment for defamation is to be imposed by courts, not by individuals when they are upset." Unfortunately, Isma'il Haniyah has yet to respond.

    Two hours after Barhum's threats, Hamas websites started to denigrate Ma'an and its correspondents in Gaza, aiming to stop our reporters from performing their duties. This has now been continuous for a week.

    Barhum challenged Ma'an to prove the validity of a report published [on Ma'an's Arabic news page] of a Fatah activist in Khan Yunus having nails driven into his feet by Hamas activists. We accept the challenge, and here publish the photo.

    We hold Barhum and others responsible for the legal, security and professional repercussions of this campaign of defamation. We continue wait for a response from former Prime Minister Haniyah.

    Source: Ma'an News Agency website, Bethlehem, in English 1410 gmt 7 Jul 07



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