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Al Jazeera journalist arrested by Israeli authorities

(MADA/IFEX) - Ramallah, 10 August 2011 - Samer Allawy, Al Jazeera's Afghanistan channel director, was arrested on 9 August 2011 by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). Allawy was arrested while crossing the Alkarameh/Allenby border from the West Bank to Jordan after spending his annual vacation with family in Nablus city.

Allawy's brother, Musáb Allawy, told MADA that he was contacted on the morning of 10 August by Israeli occupation authorities informing him of his brother's arrest. Officers did not provide a reason for his brother's arrest, but confirmed that Allawy was in IOF custody and would be moved to Aljalameh prison - in the Israeli territories, north of Jenin - for 4 days of investigation.

A representative of the Al Jazeera offices in Ramallah told MADA on 10 August that Allawy had gone to the West Bank to spend his annual vacation with his wife and children and confirmed that Allawy had visited the Palestinian territories numerous times before without problems. Al Jazeera stated that they would send a lawyer to try to visit Allawy and discern the reason for his arrest.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) strongly condemns the arrest of Allawy and considers it a flagrant violation of freedom of expression and international law. MADA demands the intervention of international parties to push for his immediate release from Israeli custody.
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