Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Israel deports journalist

Soraya sends us this:

Ma'an News Agency, the largest independent news network in the Palestinian territories, is deeply concerned that its chief English editor, Jared Malsin, an American citizen, was detained upon arrival at Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on the afternoon of Tuesday, 12 January 2009. He is slated for deportation to Prague at 6:05 am on Thursday, 14 January 2010.

Israeli security agents have prevented him from taking calls, and lied to concerned US consular staff, initially denying that he was being held. In what can only be explained as a retaliatory measure for his reporting on Palestine, Malsin's long-term partner, Faith Rowold, a two-year, registered volunteer with the Lutheran Church in Jerusalem, was also placed in a holding cell pending deportation.

US Embassy staff have inquired into the incident with Israeli representatives, and are collecting information ahead of a possible complaint. Dutch officials, whose government provided some of Ma'an's initial funding, expressed similar concern.

But diplomats say there is little they can do when Israel cites "security reasons" for the denial of entry, although Israel has yet to specify any allegations. Israeli security officials, meanwhile, have quietly expressed concern to Ma'an over this latest exercise of power at the Interior Ministry.

Ma'an scrupulously maintains its editorial independence and aims to promote access to information, freedom of expression, press freedom, and media pluralism in Palestine. It has no other agenda. Israel's arbitrary detention of the head of its English Desk is an affront to journalists not only in Palestine, but also in Israel and abroad, who rely on Ma'an for its accuracy, impartiality, and independence.

For more information, including a detailed timeline of the past 24 hours' events, please visit:

For further comment, please contact:

George Hale (English)

Raed Othman (Arabic)

Hakim Abdul Salah (Hebrew)

No comments: