This female journalist was allegedly beaten with a tree branch by Palestinian authorities who had become infuriated by the sight of a woman not wearing a Hijab while in public with a male colleague.
Rawaa Mershid, a 26year old Palestinian journalist, was working in the village of Juhor ad-Dik, located South of the city of Gaza, when she was allegedly attacked and severely beaten by Palestinian authorities last Wednesday (28th April).
The middle eastern news outlet Albawaba reports that the two officers allegedly involved in the incident claimed to be members of’ Hamas’, the de-facto governing party of Gaza.
The officers are reported to have approached Mershid who was taking pictures near the village alongside a female photographer, a male colleague and a six-year-old girl – none of whom were named.
The officers, who have not been named, began making remarks about how inappropriate it is for a man to be alone with two women before they began criticising Mershid for not wearing a hijab.
Mershid said in a Social media post that the officers told her that: “She has no right to speak” and that “She must shut up”.
She added that following the barrage of insults the two officers walked away at which point she called the Gazan Interior Ministry who assured her that everything would be okay.
However, shortly after the call the two officers returned and began insulting her again, one of them took a branch from a nearby tree and began to beat her all over the body.
After the beating, she was taken to the Al-Shifa Medical Hospital in Gaza where doctors treated her wounds.
Many netizens sent their support for the young woman with some pointing out that there is no law obliging women to wear the Hijab in Gaza and women should be able to wear what they want.
The Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights said on Facebook that it was demanding the Ministry of Interior and National Security and the Public Prosecution investigate the assault.
They said: “This was a violation of the right to personal freedoms guaranteed by national laws and international human rights covenants.”
Iyad Al-Bazam, a spokesman for the Gaza Interior Ministry, said that an investigation into the incident has begun.
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Story By: Peter Barker, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash