A newspaper article that almost took her life

Gaza-CMC- Nourhan Al Madhoon

 In her humble office, the young journalist Maha Shahwan, 30, greeted us with a broad smile pictured drew her face while she was accompanied by her three female journalists, who embraced some of them in their hanging image on one of the walls of the office room.

Shahwan is working as a journalist for the Al-Resalah newspaper from Gaza, and during her work she was threatened because of a written press release published in the newspaper.

“I was assigned to the corner of the judicial files, which is a fixed weekly angle in the newspaper, which deals with issues that are dealt with socially, religiously and legally, with the aim of sensitizing the reader and deterring it from committing crimes,” she says.

“I was keen to write stories about the use of aliases, for fear of having problems with the story holders, and on the same occasion I mentioned the first name of the accused, and unfortunately the description in the story matches his true personality”.

The story of that young man, who worked as a tutor for elementary students and used to commit heinous acts and homosexual practices with his disciples, was the ticking bomb that exploded in the face of the journalist who documented it.

Shahwan while sipping her hot coffee with caution with her classical, ornate cup, she said: “I was surprised by the people of the accused who stormed into the newspaper headquarters, attacked without respect for the place, and beat cursing and menacing, then the director and colleagues tried to calm them down and talk to them to get out of the place”.

Maha thought the problem ended in that attack, and did not expect members of the criminal’s family to harass her by threatening to kill and threatening to discredit her and tarnish her face with incendiary materials, and used all means of communication from telephone calls, text messages on the mobile phone, and the use of communication sites Social “Facebook” and “Twitter”, forcing her to change her phone number and close all her accounts on social media sites.

“The threat of murder, insult and cursing have reached my husband, who has always supported me and stood by me and was one of the most supportive, despite the constant threat and his demand to divorce me”.

“My life and my husband are in danger, they defended me, I worked in this newspaper honestly and sincerely for the profession of journalism” with these words Shahwan directed to its director, after having printed all the threats it received, and placed it on his office to see it, waiting for him to support her and stand by her side.

Stitch her eyebrows angry, and compliments: “The newspaper stopped me from working in a corner – judicial files – and I did not find who defends me, where the problem evolved family, after I discovered the lineage between my family and the family of the comet, and I was accused of publishing the material in exchange for the defamation of the family of the accused”.

Shahwan felt resentment and mistrust between her and her family, so she had to go to the FBI with the threats she received, and his hope for fairness and justice, shocked by the inaction of them despite several times of review.

“After I insist on claiming my right to protection, the people who threatened me were summoned and detained for two hours, and the detectives and the parents were pressured to waive the complaint and end the dispute,” she said.

The journalist gave up the complaint, expressed remorse for the act and hoped that the time would come to demand that the law take its course and punish every person who was subjected to it and caused harm to her and her family.

Shahwan’s journalist picks up her breath and backs her back to her chair, and she talks about the fact that journalists have been subjected to numerous attacks, violations and threats to their silence and to limit their freedom gained by their continued struggle to defend their just message, contrary to the Palestinian Basic Law The rate of journalistic freedoms in article 19, which provides for freedom of opinion and expression by publication, speech, writing and various forms.

This story was released within the project “young women advocate their rights as human rights” @ 2018

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