Time: 2pm (local time)
At 9:30am on Friday, 4 January 2019, five persons armed with batons and hatchets raided the headquarters of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in Gaza City. The perpetrators, their faces uncovered, broke down the doors of the office on both the fourth and the fifth floors of the Abu Al-Ouf Building in Tal Al-Hawa neighbourhood in the west of Gaza City. Extensive damage was caused to digital equipment, such as cameras, computers, and audio recording equipment, and to windows, doors, and furniture. Mr. Ra’fat Hammad, head of the Corporation, said that the damages totalled up to approximately USD 130,000. No employees were at the office at the time of the raid.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly condemns the raid and calls on the competent authorities to launch a prompt and genuine investigation into the incident and to hold perpetuators accountable. Any form of attack on the press and free speech reflects a breakdown in the rule of law and a violation of international human rights law, especially the right to freedom of expression and access to information codified in article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and protected by the Palestinian Basic Law (temporary constitution).