Jordanian journalists, activists react to Maraqa’s suspension by DW

Jordanian Journalist Farah Maraqa. (Photo: Farah Maraqa website)
AMMAN — A day after journalists and human rights activists issued a statement appealing to the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) to “serve justice” to Jordanian Journalist Farah Maraqa who was suspended from work in December over accusations of anti-Semitism, alongside a number of other Arab journalists, Jordan News spoke to some of the signatories to the statement to get their reactions on the matter.اضافة اعلان

In their statement, the journalists and activists urged DW to draw the line between “criticism of the Israeli government’s practices — as an occupying force under international laws- and anti-Semitism.”

The statement said Maraqa “was falsely accused of allegations and was deprived of her rights to defend herself,” condemning German media’s publication of Maraqa’s full name and address, which the statement said “infringes on her right of privacy and subjects her to defamation and threats.” 

The statement said the accusations not only “would destroy the journalists’ careers, but constitute a distortion of the facts that take place in Palestine.”

Ohood Mohsen, a journalist and signatory, said that freedoms are indivisible and that it is a journalist’s duty to convey people’s opinions. “What would be the case if this person was a Palestinian girl trying to portray the truth about her country to the world objectively and without distorting the facts,” she said.

Mohsen called on the concerned authorities to address the issue with utmost seriousness in support of Maraqa, “Today Farah is the one accused and tomorrow it would be another Arab person; the problem is not with Farah or her colleagues, the problem is about distorted facts,” she said.

The statement also made the point that the investigated articles that led to DW’s decision to suspend Maraqa were written before she and the others joined the German broadcaster.

“Digging in old publications is a violation of a basic human right and is not acceptable to prosecute someone for old reports that he/she wrote years ago,” said the Journalist Mohammad Shamma.

He added that the results of the investigation were supposed to be released on the January 15, however, they were postponed and yet to be released later. “The investigation will decide if Maraqa is innocent or no, and based on that, the German courts will decide the next step”.

Khaled Qudah, member of the Jordan Journalists Association, said that Maraqa and her colleagues’ writings represent the voice of Palestinians and highlight the Palestinian cause, “giving things their true description, like saying that resistance is not terrorism, as is often described.”  

He said voiced the association’s solidarity with their colleagues, and urged international media institutions to stand with the rights of Palestinians, “especially since some have begun to legitimize Israel’s existence and its occupation of Palestine.”

Journalist Ahkam Dajani said that DW should reconsider its decision, and said that international media should respect and guarantee the freedom of speech of journalists, particularly when this freedom concerns “their right to defend their country and express their solidarity with the people under occupation.”

Rakan Saaideh, Head of the Jordan Journalists Association said he was fully in support of Maraqa and her colleagues, adding that the association will take all the necessary measures to defend those journalists. “It is time for us now to work together to support Arab journalists anywhere in the world, and to call on the international media to protect and treat them equally as other foreign journalists.”

Deutsche Welle is Germany’s international broadcaster and provides journalistic content in 32 languages.

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