Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today joined the call by its affiliate in
Palestine, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), and Al Jazeera for the
immediate release of journalist Samer Allawy who was arrested and detained by
Israeli soldiers on 9 August. Samer, who is Al Jazeera Bureau Chief in
Afghanistan, was arrested on the West Bank border with Jordan after spending
his vacation with family in the Nablus city, according to the PJS.
"The Israeli authorities
have failed to provide any reason for Samer's arrest and we urge them to
release him to his family and colleague," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. "His
detention is a violation of his fundamental rights which must end forthwith. We
fully support the PJS and Al Jazeera's efforts to secure his release."
The PJS and Al Jazeera
organised a joint demonstration on Wednesday outside the prison near Ramallah
where Samer is held, to demand his release almost a month after his arrest.
Protesters also asked Israeli authorities to free Nawaf al Amer of Al Quds
satellite channel, Amer abu Arfa, correspondent of Shehab News Agency and
journalist Mohamed Bacharat who are in Israeli prisons.
The PJS President Abdelnnaser
Najjar accused the Israeli military of holding Samer in an attempt to obtain
information about his work in Afghanistan for the Qatari based television
The IFJ is concerned
about the wellbeing of Samer who suffers from ill health and is likely to see
his condition deteriorate further if he remains in prison. The Federation also says
that the continued intimidation of Palestinian journalists by Israeli forces
through arbitrary arrests and detention undermines the efforts to create an
environment of tolerance and dialogue between the two communities.
"This crackdown on
Palestinian journalists is unfortunate because it denies people across the
divide access to impartial and responsible information," added Beth Costa, IFJ
General Secretary. "The PJS tireless efforts
to promote professional journalism in Palestine should be supported by
responsible politicians, instead of being sabotaged on the basis of prejudice
information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more than
600.000 journalists in 131 countries