Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera reports Kabul bureau chief arrested

Al Jazeera's Kabul bureau chief is under arrest and being held without charge in Israel, according to New York-based freedom group the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Al Jazeera reports that Samer Allawi was arrested while crossing the border between Jordan and the West Bank while attempting to return to the Afghan capital Kabul after a three-week holiday in his home town of Nablus.

"Israel must clarify why it continues to hold Samer Allawi," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ Middle East and North Africa program coordinator.

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

Israeli authorities have reportedly told Al Jazeera that Allawi's arrest was "security related", but refused to say any more.

The CPJ has called on Israeli authorities to clarify the reason for Allawi's arrest and continued detention.

Israel was ranked 87 out of 178 countries in last year's Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, and deemed to have a "satisfactory situation", but the CPJ has voiced concerns about the treatment of journalists by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.

The group wrote to Israeli defence minister Ehud Berak to say that it was "alarmed by a recent spate of press freedom violations ... including detentions, censorship, harassment, and physical attacks by Israeli soldiers".

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