Journalists' Group Alarmed By Israeli Arrest Of Reporter
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has again called on Israel to release al-Jazeera reporter Samer Allawi, who was arrested at a border crossing between Jordan and the West Bank as he was returning from a three-week vacation in his hometown near Nablus. The CPJ expressed alarm at Allawi's continued detention by Israeli authorities. In a statement, Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's program coordinator in the region, said "Israeli authorities must publicly explain and provide evidence as to why they continue to hold Samer Allawi. ... Being a journalist is not a crime." Al-Jazeera reported that Allawi's lawyer said that at a hearing on Tuesday authorities cited a "secret report by Israeli intelligence" accusing Allawi of membership in Hamas and having ties to the Taliban. Allawi denied the charges and said that authorities who questioned him were "fishing for information to convict me or al-Jazeera." No charges have been filed against him.