lundi 31 janvier 2011

Palestinian Authority Blocks Tunisia Rally

Quand des manifs soutenant les manifestations pro-Tunisie et Egypte sont interdites par l'Autorité Palestinienne...
The Palestinian Authority refused to grant permission for a rally to celebrate the overthrow of Tunisia’s authoritarian president on Wednesday in Ramallah, the administrative capital of the West Bank.

The French newspaper Le Monde reported that a few dozen Palestinians who defied the ban arrived in the square in Ramallah where the rally was to take place only to find that they were outnumbered by members of the ruling Fatah party, who chose the same time and place to stage a demonstration in support of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

According to the Palestinian Maan news agency, “It was not clear whose demonstration was planned first.”

A correspondent for Le Monde, Benjamin Barthe, observed that a police cordon around the square and “the presence among the demonstrators of many mukhabarat (secret police) officers left little doubt about the Palestinian Authority’s intention to prevent any expression of solidarity with the ‘jasmine revolution’ ” in Tunisia, which led the president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, to flee into exile.


(...)Palestinian Authority security forces shut down a demonstration on [Sunday] in front of the Egyptian embassy in Ramallah, after calling in one of the organizers for questioning on [Saturday] and ordering him to cancel the event notice that he had created on Facebook. Human Rights Watch monitored the demonstration and spoke with participants.

At around 4 p.m., the first of roughly 40 to 50 Palestinian demonstrators began to gather in front of the embassy to show solidarity for ongoing protests in Egypt, but were met by 20 armed police who immediately tried to confiscate cameras and ordered a journalist to turn off her microphone and recorder. Security agents wearing masks drove up in a Palestinian Preventive Security service jeep – which was driving very fast, apparently to intimidate protesters – and were soon joined by officers in two other jeeps and three police cars, and a van of the kind the PA uses for arrests and prisoner transport.

Demonstrators said they had expected a higher turnout, but that Palestinian security agencies had called in one of the organizers of the protest for questioning three times in the last 24 hours and told him to cancel the event because, “there were orders that no event related to Tunisia or Egypt was allowed at this time.”

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