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Journalist Imprisonment For Writing About Gov. Corruption

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate has revealed last Monday March 26 2012 that the Palestinian prosecutors in Ramallah decided to arrest journalist Yosef Al-Shayeb for two days in order to complete an investigation against him after the Palestinian ambassador to France, Hayel Al-Fahoum, vice Safwat Al-Braghit and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Riyad Al-Maliki filed complaints against him.

The grounds given for the arrest of Al-Shayeb is report he published last 13 January 2012 at Al-Ghad newspaper in Jordan. The report exposed part of what the foreign media in the EU had already published in different languages about the scandalous espionage perpetrated by the PA delegation in France against the Arab communities, for the benefit of western intelligence organizations.

Al-Shayeb was informed on Thursday 22 2012 to appear on Sunday 25 2012 before the public prosecutor in Ramallah for investigation. The appointment was delayed to Monday due to a request presented by Al-Shayeb’s lawyer. After an interrogation that lasted nearly three hours in the presence of the journalist lawyer Dwood Draawi and the representative of the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate (PJS) representative Omar Nazzal, the prosecutor decided to arrest Al-Shayeb for 48 hours in order to complete the investigation against him. The journalist was transferred today Wednesday 28 March 2012 to the court.

On Wednesday March 28 2012, the Magistrate’s Court in Ramallah and Al Bireh extended the arrest of journalist Al-Shayeb for another 15 days over allegations of slander and defamation.

The PJS representative Mr. Nazzal reported that the prosecution of the journalist about the article he published was “legal practice in such cases”. He added that the decision to arrest the journalist because of publishing a report, doing his job, was “unusual” and had never happened before.

During the interrogation Al-Shayeb refused to expose the source of the information which was published in his report according to Mr. Nazzal. He added that to keep his sources confidential “is one of the basic rights of Al-Shayeb, which is guaranteed under Article IV of the Press and Publications Law of 1995”.  Al-Shayeb said that he will reveal information about his source only by an order from the court. A scandalous fact is that the PA prosecutor and elements of the PA judiciary are so naive and blind that they do not even understand that the Western media had already published material about the same scandal.

Palestinian journalists demonstrating before the Palestinian magistrate court in Ramallah

Bade’a Al-Shayeb, the wife of journalist Yosef, said that the public prosecutor in Ramallah arrested her husband for 48 hours in custody at the end of the interrogation in a case of alleged “slander”, which the PA Ambassador to France Hayel Al-Fahoum, his wife and his deputy Safwat Al-Braghit had filed against him. She added that her husband is still under investigation by the public prosecutor, that he is subjected to questioning in a second accusation brought against him by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad Al-Maliki.

Minister Al-Maliki is a well known prostitute of the Palestinian political scene. He was a famous element of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and well known for his opposition to the so-called “Oslo peace agreement” before he reasoned that it was more lucrative to become a traitor and turned against his political party, sold himself and his party to the PA ring of prostitutes, all for an illusory position as the “Foreign Affairs Minister” to the PA under the Israeli occupation while firmly imposing the US and Western zionist agenda against Palestinian interests.

The journalist Al-Shayeb has since yesterday undergone to several sessions of interrogation by the public prosecutor, after several complaints were submitted against him because of the report which he published at the Jordanian Al-Ghad newspaper where he talks about the commission of irregularities and corrupt practices by some members of the PA embassy in Paris. Al-Shayeb was arrested last week by the Palestinian General Intelligence Service for 8 hours after his Al-Ghad report was published. He was subsequently fired from his position at the newspaper because of his honest reporting.

What follows is a translation of parts of the report by Yosef Al-Shayeb originally published by the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad and later re-published by several Internet newspapers. I reject any responsibility for the information released in the text or the accuracy of any of the statements contained herein.

According to Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad, various Palestinian sources have confirmed independently that the Palestinian embassy in France “is involved in espionage” and “treats embassy employees and Palestinians in Paris with insufferably arrogance” what is known and supported by Deputy Ambassador Safwat Al-Braghit, with “the complicity of Dr. Ramzi Khouri, the head of the Palestinian National Fund, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and his foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki, and the Palestinian ambassador in Paris, Hayel Al-Fahoum”.
Diplomatic Espionage For Arab, Western And Israeli Intelligence in Paris

The sources, which preferred to not disclose their identity to the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad, stated that: “Al-Braghit and a number of his colleagues in the Palestinian embassy in France are engaged in espionage activity, extorting and pressuring dozens of Palestinian students in France to gather intelligence information on the activities of some Islamic organizations, Muslim communities in France and in Arab countries for the benefit of foreign security services. The sources noted that Al-Braghit, who was sentenced to five months of jail for violent assault on Palestinians in Paris, is supported by the powerful PA element Dr. Khoury and has a “special relationship” with him.

The sources explained that Al-Braghit is a relative of the deceased foreign relations official in the Department of Intelligence of the Palestinian Authority, Brigadier General Jihad Tayeh, who was assassinated in 2006 in Gaza the religious group of Al-Jihad. His assassination was in retaliation of him working with international spy networks against Palestinian interests.

The deceased General Tayeh was well known as a spy to the “International Relations General Intelligence” (the secret service). He “co-opted a large number of the students studying at universities abroad and involved them indirectly in work coordinated with the Israeli mossad. Many students were recruited by him in coordination with the Mossad to collect intelligence information and issue reports from the Lebanese arena during the recent Lebanese war of 2006”, the newspaper has revealed.

The sources noted that the PA embassy in Paris received many complaints against Al-Braghit, who was sentenced to five months in a French jail on charges of assaulting Palestinians in Paris. Despite that, the PA and its foreign ministry did not take any action against him. (In addition to what was published in Al-Ghad and accordingly to our knowledge, the PA itself and its various “security services” is involved in espionage activities for the intelligence services of several states, among them Israel, USA, several western countries, Egypt, Jordan as well as other states. This was not mentioned in the Al-Ghad article).

A History of Diplomatic Scandals in Paris

The sources stated that “Dr. Khouri and Minister Al-Maliki, instead of taking action against Al-Braghit, who undermined the reputation of the PA diplomatic mission in France, illegally recommended he be promoted to the post of a deputy ambassador by the official committee composed of Dr. Khouri, Minister Al-Maliki and Abu Nabil, the Fatah official in charge of financial affairs. This committee is fully authorized by President Mahmoud Abbas. It is responsible for promotion, hiring and the movement of the Palestinian diplomatic mission’s employees. The sources noted that the new post of Al-Braghit serves the personal interests of the persons involved in the committee, namely Dr. Khouri and Minister Al-Maliki.

The sources pointed out that the new post of Al-Braghit “is in the interest of the private financial affairs of Dr. Ramzi Khouri ” and that “Al-Maliki can not say NO to Dr. Khouri because Khouri agreed to the appointment of Dr. Al-Maliki’s brother as a consul in Spain. He also approved the appointment of the daughter of Al-Maliki’s sister to the Palestinian embassy in Slovenia, in addition to the appointment of Ambassador Fahoum’s brother to the Mission of Palestine to the UNESCO.

The sources indicate that “Al-Braghit and those who stand behind him threaten anybody who stands in their way or try to investigate into their corruption and immoral behaviour. The dangerous threats of committee elements can reach even senior officials, as what happened with former ambassador Leila Shahid. The threats of violence and retaliation of these people can affect students or activists or traders and even artists, Palestinians and Arabs and their families residing in the occupied Palestine, added the sources.

The sources pointed out that: “Ambassador Leila Shahid complained about Al-Braghit to the late President Yasser Arafat because he insulted Nahla Al-Shahal, the Lebanese activist, and he worked together with his friends to split the French Solidarity Movement during the siege of President Arafat. The sources indicated that senior officials of Fatah’s Central Committee, one of their highest representatives being Dr. Nabil Shaath, are fully aware of the thuggish behaviour of Al-Braghit and of what is going on at the PA embassy in Paris”.

The sources said that the Palestinian Presidency has received several complaints against the embassy and ignored all of them, including the complaint of Ambassador Leila Shahid. The sources pointed out that the conflict between the spying mafia and the rest of the employees in the embassy in Paris had been going on for more than ten years, but that in the last five to six years things went from bad to worse, especially since Dr. Ramzi Khouri became one of the persons one who controls the matters and controls the Palestinian National Fund.

From left: Ahmad Dari, Yosef Al-Shayeb, (now at jail) and Mr. Zuhair Al-Asali

Adding to what Al-Ghad published, it should be noted that the scandal was exposed after Dr. Ramzi Khouri and Minister Riad Al-Maliki fired one of the embassy employees in Paris without previously informing him. The victim of this crass act of vengeance was Mr. Ahmad Dari, who refused to accept the new position to which he was transferred (deportated), namely to the Embassy of Palestine at Conakry (Guinea) because he worried about of the situation of his family and difficulties which his children could face if they were forced to suddenly interrupt their attendance to schools in Paris, and after he had been transferred twice to work in Palestine. The salary and health insurance of Mr. Dari were cut by Dr. Ramzi Khouri, also without notifying him. The government of France accorded Mr. Dari and his family free health insurance after the PA fired him.

Mr. Ahmad Dari, a Palestinian artist and former employee of the PA Embassy to Paris, dared to publish songs in which he criticized the PA for their talks about “peace process” and the declaration of a Palestinian State in September 2011. It is a political business project, a staging and a play in the theater of political prostitution put in scene by the Palestinians of Oslo, traitors who sold Palestine to the zionist occupation in return for the right to suck millions and billions of taxpayer money from the Western-European countries, the USA and Arab States.

From left : Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad Al-Maliki, Dr. Ramzi Khouri, head of PNF, Ambassador to France Hayel Al-Fahoum and Safwat Al-Braghit

Mr.  Zuhair Al-Asali, a Palestinian from Jerusalem with French citizenship who lives in Paris was a victim of the Palestinian Embassy. He was beaten by the deputy Ambassador Mr. Safwat Al-Braghit, injured and hospitalized after he refused to be an element of PA thugs at the embassy.

The songs of Mr. Dari and the story of Mr. Al-Asali which was posted on Youtube and media caused the singer to lose his job, caused the jailing of a Palestinian journalist who published an article about this in a Jordanian newspaper, and exposed that the Palestinian “diplomats” in Paris are involved in espionage for Arab, Western And Israeli intelligence agencies.

Mr. Dari directed an open letter to Minister Al-Maliki and Dr. Khouri which was published in the media under the title “Even the Prisoners have health insurance in France”. A quote from the letter:

“… I would like to remind Mr. Ramzi Khoury, Director of the National Fund and HE Dr. Riad Maliki, Minister of Foreign Affairs, that although I have rejected the implementation of their decision of transferring me to Guinea, there are legal precepts and norms which must be applied before cutting my salary and the health insurance of my family”. Dari added: “I have not received any warning from them about cutting my salary or a proposal for transfer to another country according to the norms of the diplomatic work. In addition to the illegal decision, Minister Al-Maliki and Dr. Khouri did not take in their consideration the circumstances and the difficulties which could face me and my family by moving to Africa”.

Dari asked: “if the argument was cycling the staff between embassies, then why should I be the only one who has been moved from Paris to another place, taking in consideration that I was the only one who left his workplace twice to the work in Ramallah? The first time I managed the project “Jerusalem the Capital of Arab Culture” and the second time I was involved in the administrative management of cultural cooperation in the ministry. During both transfers they did not even give me a small office in the Ministry so that I could do my work, and I was forced to use the internet cafes in Ramallah as an office to do my work”.

Song Exposes Espionage, Jails Journalist and Costs Diplomat Job

Dari continued: “I would only like to remind the Minister Riad Al-Maliki and Dr. Ramzi Khoury that the prisoners, criminals and even the insane in France are provided free health insurance by the state and they are under its responsibility. Any state institution which respects itself is legally bound to continue to pay health insurance for their employees”.

Mr. Dari reminded in his letter the Minister and the director the Palestinian National Fund that there are many people who in their employ do nothing but sitting in their homes, but that their salaries were not cut. He added: “It was possible to punish me, to give me a lower rank, to send me to trial, to call my attention, to reprimand me and even to imprison me, but not to cut down my salary which is the livelihood my family. I think that this is not from our custom; even legally, there is no law or legal provision which authorizes the fund manager to take an arbitrary decision to cut the salary of the employees”.

At the end of his letter Mr. Dari thanks the PA thieves: “thank you for the honour which you provide to your staff and for your interest in their affairs. Thank you for your keenness in providing the best conditions of work for them. I also want to remind you that you took a decision to promote one of the employees in our embassy in Paris (meaning the person mentioned above as a spy, Safwat Al-Braghit) and you gave him highest-ranking diplomatic position despite your full knowledge that he has a legal arrest warrant and he was sentenced to five months prison in France because of his violent assault on a Palestinian students. And after you received numerous complaints against him from Palestinians and their associations you gave him the opportunity to arrange the scene in France which boils of anger against this person and his irresponsible behaviour”.

It should be noted that Mr. Dari made a song [1], “Waiting for a State in September”, in which he criticised the PA regime of lies, the song at the beginning of this article. This was the only reason for arbitrarily firing him.

New Evidence:

Mr.  Zuhair Al-Asali, a Palestinian from Jerusalem with French citizenship who lives in Paris, confirmed in a video published today Wednesday March 29 2012 that the information which was released by al-Ghad newspaper by Mr. Al-Shayeb is true, and that he is the source. He released a video message to the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian prosecutor asking them to release the reporter Al-Shayeb. Mr. Al-Asali says in the video that he was the person who was beaten by the deputy Ambassador Al-Braghit. He offered the court and the Palestinian justice to provide all the documents which prove the complicity of Al-Braghit in crimes and spying. He said that he is ready to travel to Ramallah and to stand in front of the court and give a testimony if necessary.

On the other hand, the Palestinian journalists demonstrated today before the Palestinian magistrate court. They were denied entry to court.