Two journalists, Palestinian Maram Salem and Jordanian Farah Maraqa, have reported their dismissal from German media network Deutsche Welle, two months they were accused of being “anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.”
In a Facebook post, Salem has written that, “I have been informed of my dismissal, following a report published by a German journalist accusing other colleagues and me of being anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli.”
“Is it reasonable for a media group that advocates for freedom to fire an employee because she has criticised freedom of expression in Europe?”, Salem continued.
“The investigation procedures were not impartial”, Salem had said. “An Israeli was appointed to the external investigation committee and their questions were racist, making me the target of such accusations simply for being Palestinian.”
Salem has claimed that the investigation did not consider her privacy, nor the nature of the Israel-Palestine conflict. “Deutsche Welle has chosen a side in the conflict. It has chosen who is right and who is wrong, despite the failure of the Arab and international world to resolve the crisis for seventy years.”
Maraqa has said, “I was asked a question that surprised me, since it is usually asked only by state security agencies, which was ‘how can you say there are no freedoms whilst you work for Deutsche Welle?’”
“This is similar to the intelligence services’ question, ‘how dare you talk about the lack of freedom in this country?’”
“I came to Germany in order to protect my freedom, which has always been my strongest weapon,” said Maraqa. “I faced attempted repression and threats in my country. I had thought that working for an international media, one that is always harping on about freedoms, would be different, but this has proved that no media is really free, and that journalists can be pilloried for simply saying there is no freedom of expression.”
Maraqa announced that she was informed of her dismissal without explanation, and without being provided the results of the investigation into her case.
Last December, Deutsche Welle announced the suspension of four employees and a contractor, including Maraqa and Salem, and that it had initiated investigation into allegations that they had expressed anti-Semitic views in relation to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
In a late November statement Deutsche Welle said that its investigation “will look into the comments by DW employees quoted in the article which were published in other media and on their personal social media profiles.”