Journalist from Gaza says she was overwhelmed for not carrying a scarf

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) – A Palestinian journalist stated on Thursday {that a} member of the Hamas-led border patrol in Gaza beat her with a tree department for not carrying an Islamic headband final month , an incident that sparked a public outcry.

The Islamic militant group promised an apology and stated it could punish the person. The incident highlighted Hamas’ generally brutal remedy of journalists and ladies in Gaza, the place it seized energy in 2007 from the internationally-backed Palestinian Authority.

Rewaa Mershid, a 26-year-old journalist for an area radio station, was with colleagues filming at a personal farm close to the closely guarded Gaza border on April 25 when two members of a Hamas-led border patrol approached and requested them to establish themselves. themselves.

“The dialogue took a special flip, specializing in how I costume and why I do not put on a hijab,” Mershid stated, referring to the headband that many pious Muslim ladies use to cowl their hair in public. .

Activists known as a feminine police unit, however an argument broke out and certainly one of them reduce a limb from a lemon tree and hit it 3 times, she stated. She shared a medical report saying she had “bruises on her decrease again and decrease half”.

The Palestinian Journalists Union issued a press release condemning the assault, sparking a debate on social media wherein some rallied round her whereas others condemned her conduct.

Mershid had filed a grievance with the House Workplace, which oversees the safety companies, on the day of the incident, however he stated he was in a roundabout way chargeable for the patrol boats. The boundaries between the armed wing of Hamas and the safety companies in Gaza are sometimes blurred.

After the incident turned extensively publicized, the ministry stated it had carried out an investigation and concluded that the activist “violated directions relating to relations with residents and beat Mershid with a tree department.” The ministry stated it could “apologize” to Mershid and punish the activist with “jail time”, with out offering additional particulars.

A spokesperson for the ministry couldn’t be reached for touch upon Thursday.

In keeping with the ministry report, Mershid was taking part in a private photoshoot and was not allowed to movie within the space. In Gaza, journalists should receive permission to movie in an rising variety of locations – not simply the border space, but additionally seashores, hospitals and even some markets.

An Related Press cameraman was lately banned from interviewing individuals breaking their every day quick on a seashore in the course of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Worldwide Federation of Journalists reported 76 circumstances of media rights violations by Gaza safety forces and 42 by Palestinian Authority safety forces within the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution in 2020. These violations included arrests and ban on protecting sure occasions, comparable to demonstrations.

Since taking energy in Gaza, Hamas has at occasions taken steps to impose Islamic values ​​on an already conservative society, typically backing down after being criticized by the general public.

This forces most highschool ladies, in addition to feminine legal professionals attempting circumstances within the courts, to put on the hijab. He banned ladies from taking part in a marathon run by a United Nations company in 2013, prompting organizers to cancel it.

Earlier this 12 months, a Hamas-led non secular courtroom dominated that unaccompanied ladies may solely journey with the permission of a male family member, however the determination was placed on maintain days later after an outcry from teams of ladies. protection of human rights.

Mershid stated she was moved by the messages of help she obtained on social media, saying it “encourages different ladies and men, not essentially journalists, to not stay silent.”

However she stated she not felt protected in Gaza.

“I’m on the lookout for a chance exterior of Gaza,” she stated. “I’m a journalist and love journalism, however Gaza will not be the place for me to proceed.”

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