Five Palestinian journalists were injured by Palestinian police forces on Tuesday afternoon while protesting against the Palestinian government’s inability to unveil the truth behind the abduction of BBC reporter, Alan Jhonston. Witnesses said that the PLC guards attacked journalists with rifle buts while the latter were protesting at the gate of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in Gaza, where a special session was being held inside.
The police forced the protesters back to their tent, just a few meters away from the PLC premises, witnesses added.
Fayed Abu Shamallah, of the BBC Arabic service in Gaza appealed for the release of information on Johnston’s case, as the reporter has been in captivity for 36 days now.
Abu Shamallah confirmed that the protests will continue until his fellow reporter is released.
The Palestinian Journalists Union called yesterday for further protests to pressure the Palestinian Authority to verify unconfirmed reports that 42 year-old Johnston has been executed by an unknown group.
The union voiced deep concern over fate of the BBC reporter, describing harm of foreign journalists as ‘dangerous and anti-democracy’.
A statement issued by the union demanded an immediate investigation over the whole matter.
Meanwhile, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), urged the Palestinian information minister to shoulder his responsibilities by intervening swiftly to ensure protection for journalists.
A previously unknown group, calling itself Tawhid and Jehad (Monotheisms and Struggle), has recently released a statement on the internet, in which it announced it had executed Alan Johnston, a veteran BBC reporter.
Johnston was abducted on March 12 by unknown masked men in Gaza City and so far no information has revealed as to his whereabouts or the identity of his captors.
15 foreign journalists have been taken hostage for short periods of time and then released unharmed in Gaza over the past three years.