Journalists sacked by Germany’s public broadcaster dismissed antisemitism allegations and said Deutsche Welle is acting against freedom of expression.

Palestinian Maram Salem and Jordanian Farah Maraqa, who were among five journalists suspended from Deutsche Welle, announced earlier this week that they were fired by the company.

Deutsche Welle terminated the staffers after a two-month probe into “workplace antisemitism.”

“I have just been informed that I was let go from my job at the Deutsche Welle after a journalist from Germany had published a report accusing me and other colleagues of Anti-Semitism and being Anti-Israel based on posts we published on our personal Facebook accounts,” Salem said on Facebook.

She said her post did not contain anything related to antisemitism or Israel but was about freedom of expression in Europe and Salem shared previous posts that were in the report.

“The freedom of expression in Europe is an illusion. Many red lines can be crossed if we spoke of it. The tricks we usually use (such as coding certain words) does not aim at hiding posts from Facebook, but at preventing automated translation from exposing what we say to some people here who are always looking to monitor us and stalk us in order to get us fired from our jobs or deported from the country,” she said.

Salem claimed she was “scapegoated” by Deutsche Welle.

“How is it at all possible that an international media company that supposedly calls for freedoms would expel an employee for criticizing freedom of expression in Europe … Being Palestinian is not Anti-Semitic,” she added.

Maraga also said she was sacked without yet knowing the reason.

“I just have been notified without further explanations that I will receive a notice of termination from Deutsche Welle with immediate effect. I have not yet been informed about the reasons, nor been handed out the report on which these allegations shall be based,” she wrote on Twitter.

Deutsche Welle was heavily criticized in December by more than 130 activists and journalists after the company decided to suspend five Arab journalists for old tweets in which they criticized Israel and its policies in the Middle East.

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