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MADA urges immediate action to stop the deportation of journalist Mustafa Al-Kharouf (Demo)

This statement was originally published on on 2 June 2019.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms “MADA” calls on the international community and human rights organizations to take urgent action to stop the Israeli occupation authorities’ actions against journalist Mustafa Al-Kharouf, who has been detained for months and Israel is trying to deport him from the city of Jerusalem where he has lived since he was a child.

Tammam Kharouf, the wife of journalist Mustafa Kharouf, said that her husband Mustafa was able to communicate with her on Monday morning 13/5/2019 and informed her that he had been given a piece of paper by the Israeli interrogators to write in his own handwriting a request stating that he wanted to go to Jordan and sign it, but he refused.

Mustafa Kharouf was born in Algeria on 21/9/1987; he moved to Jerusalem with his family in 1999 and is married to Tammam Nofal al-Kharouf from Jerusalem, they have one daughter. He has been working since August 2018 with the Turkish Anatolia Agency as a press photographer.

For 20 years, the occupation authorities have refused to reunite him with his family or grant him a residence or “visa” card, making him an “illegal resident”. He has no legal residence anywhere in the world, even the West Bank or Jordan. His family, including his wife and daughter, carry the (Jerusalem residency) IDs.

Mustafa tried many times to obtain official papers, but the Israeli Ministry of Interior reject his repeated requests, he even filed an appeal to the Israeli court against the ministry’s decision on the pretext of “security reasons” on 21/1/2019. A day later, on January 22, 2019, he was arrested by the Israeli police and transferred to the Jiff’un Prison in Ramle, a prison for the deportation of “illegal” foreign workers. The Israeli authorities are still detaining him and carrying out measures to deport him outside Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories, although he has no nationality or residence anywhere else in the world.

The Israeli Ministry of Interior claimed that there was a “secret security file” with the Israeli security service (Shabak) about the journalist Mustafa Kharouf; it reportedly contains information from various sources about his activity during the past five years and about his relations and contacts with “terrorist organizations” which is “a sufficient reason to prevent him from being reunited” to stay in Jerusalem and thus demand his expulsion from Jerusalem and the entire Palestinian territories. The family of Kharouf believes that the Israeli occupation authorities’ efforts to deport him are linked to his work as a press photographer. His wife says: “It is true that they consider him an illegal citizen, but he has never been charged”.

MADA Center condemns the continued detention of the journalist Mustafa Kharouf by the Israeli occupation authorities and calls upon the various human rights organizations and governments in the world to pressure the Israeli government to stop its efforts to deport the journalist away from his wife, daughter and family residing in Jerusalem and release him, allowing him to return to his family and work as soon as possible so he can spend Eid Alfiter with them.

The post MADA urges immediate action to stop the deportation of journalist Mustafa Al-Kharouf appeared first on IFEX.


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