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March 13, 2013

Where's the Coverage? Prisoner Dies in Palestinian Custody

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On March 2, Khaled Abu Toameh reported in the Jerusalem Post that Ayman Samarah, a 40-year-old Palestinian from Jenin, died while in custody at Jericho Prison, one of the Palestinian Authority’s biggest prisons in the West Bank. Almost no major news outlet picked up the story. A Google News search turned up mostly blog posts and tweets.

Contrast that with the widespread coverage of the case of Arafat Jaradat, a 30-year-old Palestinian who died in Israeli custody. Actually you don’t have to. In American Thinker, Leo Rennert does that for us:

…When it came to Jaradat's death, mainstream media, led by the New York Times and the Washington Post, went all out with a slew of articles – Israel claiming it was probably a heart attack and Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority screaming "torture" even before the autopsy could be completed. Predictably, the Times and the Post also put more stock and gave greater prominence to Palestinian propaganda than to Israel's explanations and methodical autopsy.

But when it came to Samarah's death in a Jericho prison run by Abbas and the PA, there was no coverage at all in either the Post or the Times. Not a single word. Even though families of Palestinians detainees have held sit-in strikes at the Jericho prison, alleging torture of their kin. Sadly, this is all too familiar a pattern in Palestinian territories – in the West Bank, under Abbas control, Hamas prisoners can expect brutal treatment, while in Gaza, run by Hamas, it's Fatah detainees who tend to complain of torture. But there's no media interest.

Rennert wrote that on March 4. That was over a week ago. And still, no major news stories.

Why would the media cover the death of a prisoner in Israeli custody but not a prisoner in Palestinian custody? Is it possible that they are not truly interested in relaying the plight of Palestinian prisoners at all but only in focusing on something that might make Israel look bad? If not, one has to ask… Where’s the Coverage?

Posted by SC at March 13, 2013 08:41 PM

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