Hamas arrests 5 over Palestinian government media raid

Employees check the damage in a studio after a raid by gunmen on the offices of a Palestinian broadcasting corporation in Gaza City, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. (AP)
Updated 05 January 2019
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Hamas arrests 5 over Palestinian government media raid

  • Five armed men attacked the offices of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in Gaza City on Friday
  • They trashed equipment worth thousands of dollars

GAZA CITY: Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip arrested five men Saturday over a raid at the Palestinian Authority's media headquarters, in which valuable equipment was destroyed.
Five armed men attacked the offices of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in Gaza City on Friday, trashing equipment worth thousands of dollars.
The media centre is funded by the West Bank-based Palestinian government and houses Palestine TV and the Voice of Palestine radio station.
Staff and a PA official initially blamed the raid on Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, but the movement said disgruntled PA employees were responsible.
All five arrested are "employees of the Palestinian Authority whose salaries have been cut recently," the Hamas-run interior ministry in Gaza said.
"It turned out that one of them was a Palestine TV employee whose salary was cut last month."
Hamas seized control of Gaza from the PA in 2007, a year after winning parliamentary elections that were rejected by much of the international community.
Despite losing power in the enclave, the PA continues to pay tens of thousands of civil servants there.
But it has reduced salaries in recent years due to financial shortfalls, causing much ire among its employees.


Turkey sentences detained judge who won human rights award to 10 years

Updated 48 min 10 sec ago
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Turkey sentences detained judge who won human rights award to 10 years

  • The Council of Europe human rights body in 2017 gave Arslan, who was detained at the time, the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize
  • The decision prompted Turkey to say it would cut back its funding to the body

ANKARA: A Turkish court sentenced a judge who previously won an award for human rights to 10 years in prison over links to the network Ankara says orchestrated an attempted coup in 2016, the state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Friday.
Murat Arslan, who has been detained for 22 months, was convicted of membership in an armed terrorist organization, after prosecutors charged him with use of the encrypted messaging app ByLock, Anadolu said.
Arslan has denied the charges and said any evidence that he had used the app was “fabricated,” Anadolu said.
The government says the outlawed app was widely used by followers of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom it blames for the attempted coup that saw rogue soldiers commandeer tanks and aircraft, attacking parliament and killing some 250 unarmed civilians.
Gulen, a former ally of President Tayyip Erdogan who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, has condemned the coup and denied any involvement with it.
The Council of Europe human rights body in 2017 gave Arslan, who was detained at the time, the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, a decision that prompted Turkey to say it would cut back its funding to the body.
Arslan was the former head of Turkey’s Judges and Prosecutors Union, a civil legal association that was shut down by government decree in the wide crackdown that followed the coup attempt.
Since the failed coup, authorities have formally arrested some 77,000 people and sacked or suspended more than 150,000 soldiers, civil servants and more over alleged links to the coup attempt, including alleged users of ByLock.
Rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies have voiced concern over the scale of the crackdown, saying President Tayyip Erdogan was using the putsch as a pretext to quash dissent.
The government, however, says the security measures are necessary due to the gravity of the threat it faces from Gulen’s network.