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High Court quashes jail sentence against two journalists

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders welcomed the Supreme Court decision on 28 January 2010 to overturn prison sentences of eight months, six of them suspended, against Khader Shahin, correspondent for Iranian Arabic-language television station al-Alam, and his assistant Mohammed Sarhan.

After the Israeli army launched operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip on 27 December 2008, Shahin, living in Jerusalem, was summoned by Israeli police on 5 January 2009 for having announced the start of the land offensive on the evening of 3 January, before censorship was lifted. Mohammed Sarhan had gone with him to the police station in Petah Tikva (near Tel Aviv) to provide evidence in his support. But at the end of the summons, both men were arrested. Shahin and Sarhan were charged on 13 January with "revealing secret information" and "transmitting information to the enemy in time of war."

Their lawyer, David Derri, successfully applied for their release on bail two days later. They were placed under house arrest and sentenced on 14 June 2009.

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