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Afghan journalists seek release of Al Jazeera reporter

Afghan journalists seek release of Al Jazeera reporter

Aug 21, 2011 - 20:47

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Afghan journalists on Sunday strongly condemned the arrest of an Al Jazeera private TV channel reporter by Israeli authorities, asking the international community for help in this regard.

"We condemn the inhuman act on the part of Israeli government. We want an immediate release of Samir Alawi, the Al Jazeer bureau chief in Afghanistaninfo-icon," Mohammad Zubair Shabfiqi, who visited the office of Al Jazeera in Kabul, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The journalists had come together in order to condemn the arrest of Alawi, who is in prison on the changes of having links with the Talibaninfo-icon fighters in Afghanistan and Hamas movement in Palestine. 

According to a report published on the website of Al Jazeera, the Israeli authorities detained Alawi on August 10, 2011 when he was leaving the occupied West Bank after a three-week vacation in his hometown of Sabastiya, north of Nablus.
Alawi was arrested at the King Hussein Bridge, formerly known as the Allenby border, and taken to a prison camp in Jalama (Kishon), east of Haifa. He was initially placed under detention for 96 hours, yet his arrest was extended and he remains in Israeli state custody.

The lawyer appointed to defend Allawi said that he was interrogated by Israeli intelligence forces. Allawi, who began working at Al-Jazeera in 2006, was asked about his work and management of Al-Jazeera's bureau in Afghanistan. Officials took the login details for his personal work email and news software information.

Interrogators questioned Allawi about his financial status and his relationships with family and relatives. He was also asked about his work and personal relationships during his school days in Nablus and his college years in Islamabad.

"The only thing Alawi did is that he conveyed the voices of innocent people to the worldinfo-icon, beyond that he did nothing wrong" Shafiqi, the editor in chief of Wesa, an independent newspaper, said.

"Journalists are responsible to inform people about an issue. Since we are impartial, we ask all those who have political and military power to let the journalists perform their duty without any restrictions," Wahid Paikan, a reporter with the BBC in Kabul said.


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