IFJ Condemns Deportation Move against US Journalist in Israel


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