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Editor detained, faces possible deportation

(MADA/IFEX) - The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) strongly condemns the detention of Jared Malsin, chief English editor of the Ma'an News Agency, by Israeli authorities and their intention to deport him. Malsin, an American citizen, was detained upon arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport at 4:00 p.m. on 12 January 2010.

Malsin was scheduled to appear in Tel Aviv District Court on 14 January. Further hearings are expected to determine whether or not deportation proceedings will go ahead.

Malsin was originally scheduled for deportation at 6:00 a.m. on 14 January. The move was temporarily stayed when Ma'an attorney Castro Daoud filed an injunction, which was denied by Israel's attorney general but accepted by Judge Sokolov.

Interrogation transcripts reveal that Malsin's detention was linked to his work as a professional journalist. He was interrogated for 8 hours in a detention hall during which time he had no access to a lawyer or to his consulate. Airport officials indicated that he was denied entry into the country for "failing to cooperate" with Israeli security personnel, and because he had authored news stories "inside the territories" and articles "criticizing the State of Israel." The documents question his Jewish heritage, as well.

MADA condemns this act, which is a serious violation of freedom of expression, and demands that the international community pressure the Israeli government to release Malsin and to put an end to his deportation process.

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