Palestine: Israeli Occupation Forces Raid Publishing Companies and Violate Freedom of Speech

Press release from This Week in Palestine magazine

On Sunday, 22 June, at around 4:00 AM, Israeli Occupation Forces broke into the company premises of Turbo Computers and Software Co. Ltd., a graphic design firm established in 1985 and publisher of This Week in Palestine magazine, and into the premises of its sister company, Jeel Publishing Co. Ltd., publisher of the Arabic youth magazine Filistin Ashabab. Seven computers including the servers were confiscated, severely hampering the companies’ operating capacity.

As private-sector companies, we deplore such an action which not only clearly violates our personal rights, including freedom of expression, but also jeopardizes the livelihood of our employees. During our 28-year history, we have had no affiliation with any political faction. Our work includes graphic design and print-management services offered to a large number of institutions, both local and international, including the Office of the President. This Week in Palestine is a 15-year-old nonpolitical cultural publication that promotes and documents Palestine, and Filistin Ashabab is a platform for Palestinian youth to express and develop their writing skills as well as their photography and artistic skills.

We call upon the international community, particularly the US and the EU authorities that have been trying to encourage the development of the Palestinian private sector, to voice its opinion on these barbaric actions and recognize the obstacles that we face as a people under military occupation. Our full economic potential will never be realized if actions like this continue – actions that threaten our investments and, more importantly, the livelihood of our people.

The attack on This Week in Palestine and Filistin Ashabab is a message to our readers that they might be deprived of access to these two independent Palestinian publications. But we want to assure them that we will continue to publish both magazines, despite the hardships, in order to continue to play our part in building the independent, secular, and pluralistic society that we all dream of.

We question the uncivilized manner in which we were violated and our computers confiscated. With today’s technology anyone with adequate resources can easily tap into any system and have total access to its files. As totally transparent companies, we have nothing to hide and we pose no security threat to anyone.

We demand the immediate restoration of our computers, and we hold the Israeli authorities responsible for the integrity of the data that we have collected and worked on for over two decades. Finally, we reserve the right to claim reparation for damages incurred, and to consider legal action, both locally and internationally.

Articles by: Sani Paul Meo

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