IPI/IFEX) - Vienna, 21 Jan. 2010 - Jared Malsin, editor of the English section of Ma'an News Agency, was deported by the Israeli authorities on Wednesday. Following a week in custody at Ben Gurion International Airport, the American journalist was flown to New York City yesterday morning.
Malsin was detained on 12 January at the airport after landing, as he and his girlfriend were returning from a holiday in the Czech Republic. Israeli security agents had confiscated their cell phones before they boarded their flight. On landing, the two were interrogated for eight hours. Malsin's girlfriend, Faith Rowold, who had been working as a volunteer for the Lutheran Church in Israel, was deported early last Thursday.
The Israeli authorities have accused Malsin of entering Israel illegally, "refusal to cooperate," "lying to border officials," "exploiting his Jewishness to get into Israel," and "entering Israel on the basis of lies," according to Ma'an sources.
The Israeli authorities also noted that Malsin wrote articles from within the Palestinian territories, including reports criticizing Israel. Press freedom groups including IPI, as well as Malsin's colleagues at the news agency, are concerned that this is the real reason behind his deportation. Ma'an Editor-in-Chief Nasser Allaham told IPI that the Israeli authorities "knew he was a journalist working in the Palestinian media, and they don't want our English page to be strong."
Read it all here.