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Last Updated: Monday, 4 June 2007, 17:38 GMT 18:38 UK
Gaza TV women protest at threats
Palestinian TV staff
Female Palestinian TV staff are the latest to feel pressure on media
Palestinian television journalists have protested for a second day in Gaza against threats by a shadowy Islamist group to decapitate female presenters.

The group calling itself the Swords of Truth accused women TV journalists of acting "without shame or morals".

In recent months, dozens of internet and video stores have been firebombed by self-styled religious guardians.

The protesters, including prominent reporters and filmmakers called for protection from extremist groups.

Lawlessness in has increased the last two years in a power vacuum following the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza and a Western aid boycott of the Hamas-led Palestinian government.

At the same time hard-line Islam has been on the rise.

"We will cut throats, and from vein to vein, if needed to protect the spirit and morals of this nation," the group said in a statement emailed to news agencies on Friday.

"Shame on you," news anchor Sally Abed - one of 15 female anchors for Palestinian TV - said on Sunday, addressing the Islamist group.

"The people working in this institution are your people - if it's not your sister, it's your mother."

A separate organisation calling itself the Army of Islam has claimed responsibility for kidnapping BBC reporter Alan Johnston in March.

More vigils have been held to highlight his continuing captivity, exactly 12 weeks after his abduction.

At a gathering at BBC TV Centre in London, BBC deputy Director General Mark Byford demanded his immediate release.




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