Denounce Assault on Palestinian Journalists by Harper’s Security
Following is a Statement from Voice of Palestine and Canada Palestine Association:
We, in the Voice of Palestine and the Canada Palestine Association, denounce the aggressive and possibly criminal behaviour of the Canadian security accompanying PM Stephen Harper at the holy place of the Nativity church. We demand an investigation and an apology from the Canadian government; their hypocrisy has no bounds and as one Palestinian journalist stated: “You wouldn’t do this in Israel (to Israeli journalists)”.
Co-host, Voice of Palestine
Chairperson, Canada Palestine Association
We received the following message from Amer Hjazi, the Palestinian journalist who was roughed up by Harper’s security; some of the Canadian media did not tell the accurate story of (and tried to trivialize) what happened to this Palestinian journalist, in a real expression of “solidarity” with fellow reporters!!
Jan. 21, 2014-01-22 (Translation of the original Arabic)
On Monday morning, the Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper visited the Nativity Church; after the security check, only seven Palestinian journalists were allowed to cover the event and we abided by the instructions given to us by the Palestinian and Canadian security. When the Prime Minister arrived, we were allowed to take footage outside the church. When we entered the church, the Canadian security forbade us from filming in spite of the mediation of the Palestinian security. The Canadian security treated me and my colleagues roughly, and I was assaulted by one of PM Stephen Harper’s guards; I was beaten on my chest and was hurt. My colleagues stopped filming and we protested this Canadian maltreatment outside of the Nativity Church (with a work stoppage). Their behaviour was unbecoming of guests on our land; they should have shown respect for their hosts. The Palestinian Union of Journalists asked for an official apology from the Canadian Embassy, we did not receive any so far. I personally ask for an apology from the Canadian Prime Minster.
I ask you to stand in solidarity with me to regain my integrity.
Update: On Jan. 24, 2014, Amer Hjazi reported that he had been to the Canadian Embassy in Ramallah to ask for an apology, and the Embassy refused to apologize. Amer has a picture of the guard who assaulted him in his possession.