The Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported that Palestinian journalists protested Wednesday in the city of Ramallah, in Judea and Samaria, demanding that the Palestinian Authority release Yousef al-Shayeb, a reporter who was arrested two days earlier.
The arrest of Shayeb, who works for a Jordanian newspaper “Al-Ghad,” followed a complaint of slander and defamation filed by the Palestinian ambassador to France and his deputy and Foreign Minister Riyad Malki against Shayeb, after he published a story in January accusing the ambassador of corruption and the foreign minister of covering up for him.
The Palestinian news agency WAFA reports that a Palestinian court on Wednesday extended al-Shayeb’s arrest for 15 days pending investigation of the charges.
Shayeb, who was arrested on Monday and detained for 48 hours by orders from the PA attorney general, announced during the remand hearing that he will go on hunger strike to protest his arrest, which he considered an infringement on press freedom.
Shayeb, who also writes for the Palestinian daily al-Ayyam, was also held for several hours the day after his story was published.
The website Occupied Palestine reports that the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, the main union for Palestinian media workers, is calling on reporters to boycott the Palestinian Authority’s newly announced journalism award in recognition of exemplary reporting, to protest Shayeb’s arrest.