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2 journalists say Palestinian Authority interrogated them

May 18, 2013 at 5:43 PM

RAMALLAH, West Bank, May 18 (UPI) -- Two Palestinian journalists said they were detained and questioned this week by the Palestinian authority, despite a promise to respect freedom of the press.

One of the journalists, a documentary filmmaker, said he was forced to reveal the passwords to his personal email and Facebook page, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Haroun Abu Arrah said he was questioned for more than 2 hours by agents of the General Intelligence Service and then released without being told why he had been summoned.

He said agents grilled him about his posting on Facebook that he had been summoned.

"I went to the headquarters of the GIS two days after receiving a summons," Abu Arrah told the Samir Kassir Eyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom. "They asked me provocative and personal questions, such as whether I was having or had sexual relationships. I told the interrogator that this was none of his business. He replied: 'You better answer the questions.'"

Abu Arrah said he was detained for 10 days this year after asking President Mahmoud Abbas during a news conference in Oslo about deaths in Palestinian prisons.

Omar Arqoub said he was held for 11 days by the GIS and his laptop was confiscated. He said he was questioned about a film he is doing on Palestinians held in Israel.

Arqoub, who lives near Hebron, said he has since been questioned several times by the Preventive Security Service. He said the agents forced him to give them his email and Facebook passwords.

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