Thursday, July 17, 2008

Standing Watch for Those Who Do Bear Witness

Update: Mohammed Omer, the internationally acclaimed Palestinian journalist who was interrogated, strip-searched and physically abused by Israeli officials as he tried to re-enter Gaza last month is now home following a short hospital stay. His account of his experiences at the Allenby Bridge checkpoint will be available in the Sept./Oct. issue of the Washington Report. Dutch MP Van Baalen has demanded an investigation be launched into this matter. You can sign a petition condemning Israeli attacks on journalists here.

Omer can be reached at his website here (Don't stress over the mumble you first hear. There's a series of videos that greet you, and for some reason, they all go off at once. Hit pause buttons and peruse contentedly!)

NEWEST UPDATE: Medical Reports reviewed by IPS (Inter Press Service) appear to substantiate Omer's report of physical abuse. While the Israeli government has denied claims
an ambulance report of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society says: "We note finger signs on the neck and chest." A report from the European Gaza Hospital of the Palestinian National Authority's Ministry of Health includes the following notation after examination of Omer: "Ecchymosis (discolouration caused by bleeding underneath, typically caused by bruising) at upper part of chest wall was found."

The report makes these further observations: "Tenderness on the anterior part of the neck and upper back mainly along the right ribs moderate to severe pain," and "by examination the scrotum due to pain varicocele (varicose veins in the spermatic cord) at left side detected and surgery was decided later."
Read the entire story here.

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