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Palestine: Journalist Mohammed Omer awarded, then beaten

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Israel, Palestine, Digital Activism, Ethnicity & Race, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, International Relations, Media & Journalism, Refugees, Technology, War & Conflict

Mohammed Omer [1] is a young journalist from Rafah [2], a town in Gaza. Just a few weeks ago, at the age of 24, Omer was awarded the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Award [3] for outstanding journalism for his reporting on Gaza. Upon his return, however, Omer was detained by Shin Beit [4], only to reappear half a day later in an ambulance. Israeli officials have admitted [5] to detaining Omer, but have stated that he was held for “smuggling” and that his injuries were sustained when he “fell”. Photographs have emerged [6]of Omer in his hospital bed, and bloggers have expressed their anger and concern.

DesertPeace was among the first to comment, and was outraged [7] by the lack of media coverage:

A week ago my dear friend and Brother, Mohammed Omer, was nearly beaten to DEATH and tortured by Israeli Security officers.

This week, two Palestinian children were killed in cold blood by Israeli forces. Eight others were wounded.

Did you read about any of the above in any reports issued by the Associated Press?

NO!

The blogger also links to a podcast [8] in which Omer is interviewed.

In the comments section, David Baldinger responds [9]:

Omer’s bravery is awesome. I could not have endured this treatment. Even though the abuse was bad enough, what is also sad is that this occurred after his days of happiness abroad. This is one of those stories we should not let die. There is no excuse or explanation that can justify what was done to Omer. Maybe some good will come from the bad. This illustrates that the Israeli government lies and can’t be expected to control its forces.

Finally, Munich – and a little bit of everything commented [10] on the podcast, saying:

Someone who listened to it said that this it is the most moving thing he has heard in a long time. It is Mohammed Omer speaking from his hospital bed to Nora Barrows-Friedman on Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio. She was in Palestine recently.

Man's inhumanity to man. You can only weep.

A petition to demand action can be found here [11].