International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on Israeli
authorities to revoke the deportation order served on American journalist and
chief English editor of Ma'an news agency, Jared Malsin, who has been held at Tel
Aviv International airport since Tuesday after he was denied entry in the
condemn this intolerable violation of press freedom," said Aidan White. "The ban of entry in this case appears
to be a reprisal measure for the journalist's independent reporting and that is
to Ma'an news agency, a Palestinian independent media outfit, Jared was
arrested At Tel Aviv as he was returning from vacation in Prague. He was reportedly questioned by
security officials about articles he wrote critical of the Israeli government
and was refused entry and detained at the airport. The agency says his
deportation was scheduled for Thursday but was postponed following protests by
American diplomats in Israel.
A hearing into his challenge to the order is planned for Sunday.
has worked for Ma'an news agency for the last two years, covering the West Bank where he had regular contacts with Israeli
officials in the region, reports say.
IFJ says the treatment meted out to Jared is unacceptable and suggests Israeli
officials are seeking to control independent media and undermine impartial news
reporting. The Federation criticised the ban on foreign media to Gaza before and during
the last military offensive between December 2008 and mid January 2009.
"We do not know all
the details of the charges against Jared Malsin," said a statement
from the Jerusalem Association of Journalists (JAJ). "But we certainly and
clearly support the right of all journalists to report freely from Israel, irrespective of whether the reporting
is favourable or unfavourable to the state of Israel."
The JAJ warned against
campaigns which have a political motive and " try to portray Israel as a
state without media freedom."
The Association has
also backed efforts to ensure Palestinian journalists enjoy the same levels
of press freedom as Israeli journalists and others from around the
world. "We are ready to work together with Palestinian
journalists inside the framework of the IFJ to make sure that there will
be no exceptions to the rights of journalists anywhere," they
cannot be sworn to support governments in order to gain entry into countries,"
added White. "This kind of interference has no place in a democracy."
For more information
contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists
in 125 countries worldwide