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Unlawful imprisonment of Palestinian journalist Samer Allawi

Unlawful imprisonment of Palestinian journalist Samer Allawi

We write to bring your attention to the imprisonment of a Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist, Samer Allawi, held without charge by the Israeli authorities. We believe that his arrest has serious implications for free speech and media reporting in the Middle East. Samer was arrested on August 9th whilst crossing the Allenby Bridge to Jordan, after visiting family in the village of Sebastia, Nablus. He was then transferred to the Jalama centre in Haifa, where he was initially held for 96 hours, and interrogated by Israeli intelligence forces. He has been held there ever since.

On August 28th, an Israeli court ruled that 'more investigation' was needed and extended his detainment. Samer, who is the chief correspondent for the Al Jazeera Afghanistan bureau, was questioned about his work for the network and forced to reveal log-in information for his personal and work emails, according to his lawyers. He has been accused of contacting the Hamas leadership, a charge he emphatically denies.

Samer arrest is a complete violation of the right to family life, free movement and freedom of expression, enshrined in international law and more importantly working in the media field which clearly a right that is being denied by the Israeli authorities. As a colleague of yours, we urge you to report the case of Samer Allawi through your media outlets—and call for his release—as a means of pressurising the Israeli state to respect the right of free movement and free speech of not only those working in the media, but of all Palestinians who are denied their basic freedoms living under occupation.

If you have any further questions about the nature of Samer's arrest, or questions about the plight of Palestinian prisoners, please do not hesitate to contact UFree media centre and visit our website for latest update about Allwai’s case. We at UFree look forward to hearing from you/your organisation soon.

UFree is an independent European-wide human rights network; set up to defend the rights of Palestinian prisoners and detainees.
"Without freedom, no one really has a name” Milton Acorda


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