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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

American Journalist Jared Malsin detained one week and deported

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20 January 2010
For immediate release

For the first time in a week, journalist Jared Malsin was allowed to use his mobile phone on Wednesday morning to inform Ma'an that he was being placed onto an El Al flight to New York.

He sounded shaken and confused. He said he did not know why he was not being flown to Prague, where he was expected to be sent, saying only that flying there "would create problems." He said he was in an armored vehicle that was transporting him to the airport gate.

On Tuesday, Tel Aviv District Judge Kobi Vardi ordered that a hearing be scheduled to consider the Israeli Ministry of the Interior's decision to deport the journalist. Following the call, lawyer Castro Daoud went to the airport detention facility where Malsin has been kept for the past week to deliver the news.

At about 2:30 pm, Daoud left the detention center and filed a motion requesting that Jared be permitted to leave the country while the hearing and case proceed in his absence. As the Attorney General's Office insisted that Malsin not be permitted to attend his hearing, Daoud argued that it was no longer necessary to keep him confined to his cell in the detention center.

At about 4:30pm, staff from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv notified Malsin’s parents in the US state of New Hampshire that he would be on the next flight to Prague, even though Justice Vardi had not ruled on Daoud’s motion to let Malsin travel and still pursue the case.

At about 7:30pm, Daoud expressed shock after he received notification that a motion was signed by Malsin requesting his deportation challenge be annulled. Justice Vardi has closed the case on Malsin’s deportation order one week after it was filed.

Ma’an is deeply concerned that there was no lawyer present when Malsin apparently filed this independent motion, which was sent from the Ministry of the Interior and not his legal representative, who had just left. It is inexplicable that Malsin would knowingly drop the legal challenge after his first major success.

Without jumping to conclusions, Ma’an wants to be sure these events did not take place under duress, and is consequently concerned that Malsin’s lawyer and parents were prevented from reaching him during the 24 hours before the deportation to clarify what happened between 2:30 and 4:30pm on Tuesday afternoon.

See the following for more information:

On the reaction of international press associations:
On Jared’s fight to overturn the deportation order:
On the timeline of Jared’s detention and questioning:

For further inquiries, please contact:

George Hale (English)
              +972(0)52.785-4907         +972(0)52.785-4907
Raed Othman (Arabic)
              +972(0)59.925-8705         +972(0)59.925-8705
Nasser Lahham (Hebrew)
              +972(0)59.925-8704         +972(0)59.925-8704

For the most updated version of this news release, click here:

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