Al Jazeera journalist held in Israeli prison

Samer Allawi, network's Kabul bureau chief, held in prison since August 10 after being detained in occupied West Bank.

    Allawi was arrested when he was crossing the border between Jordan and the occupied West Bank

    Samer Allawi, Al Jazeera Arabic's Kabul bureau chief, has been brought before an Israeli military court, almost a week after he was arrested by Israeli officials when he tried to cross the border between Jordan and the occupied West Bank.

    Israeli authorities extended his detention by seven days and charged him with being a member of Hamas on Tuesday.

    Allawi was arrested on August 10 at the end of a three-week holiday in his home town of Sabastia near Nablus.

    The Israeli authorities originally informed Allawi's family that he would be held for four days for questioning, saying that it was a "security-related arrest".

    Last Thursday, the authorities told Al Jazeera that Allawi's detention would be extended.

    He is currently in Israeli state custody in a prison camp at Petah Tikva detention centre.

    Salim Waqim, Allawi's lawyer, told Al Jazeera that his client was interrogated about his work and management of Al Jazeera's Kabul bureau, his personal financial information, and his relationships with colleagues, friends, family and relatives.

    Israeli authorities took his computer login information and during his interrogation Allawi was accused of being a member of Hamas and having contact with its military leadership, Waqim said.

    Majed Khadr, output manager at Al Jazeera said that Allawi told his lawyer that he would be charged with transferring money and orders from Afghanistan to the occupied West Bank if he refused to act as an informant.

    However, Allawi continued to refuse to cooporate with the authorities interrogating him.

    Local human rights and press freedom groups have released statements condemning Allawi's arrest.

    Mohamed Abdel Dayam, the Middle East and North Africa programme co-ordinator at the New York-based CPJ said: "Israel must clarify why it continues to hold Samer Allawi.

    "Our concern for Allawi's well-being and his legal rights is amplified with every passing day he is held without due process."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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