Lawmakers and human rights advocates must intervene to free Samer Allawi, a Palestinian who works as Afghanistan bureau chief for Al Jazeera, says the organization UFree in a press release issued today. Allawi was detained without charges by the Israeli military on Aug. 9 when he was attempting to cross into Jordan from the West Bank, where he had been visiting family. He has been held in jail ever since.â€śWe must protect the right of all Palestinians to visit their families, and the right of all journalists to move freely,â€ť stated Mohammed Hamdan, chairman of (UFree) The European Network to Support the Rights of Palestinian Prisoners and its head office in Olso-Norway.
â€śWe all know what happens to many Palestinian detainees; reports of severe beatings and other forms of torture are not uncommon. There is no time to waste.â€ť
According to Al Jazeera, the 44-year-old Allawi was taken to a prison east of Haifa and interrogated by Israeli intelligence forces. Allawi’s lawyer reports that he was questioned about his work for the network, and forced to reveal the log-in information for his personal and work emails and proprietary news software.
Israeli authorities accused Allawi of being a member of Hamas and contacting its military leadership. However, he has regularly spent his yearly summer vacation with his family and relatives in his hometown in the occupied West Bank.
‘The arrest of Samer Allawi is a clear violation of the right to freedom of speech and movement enshrined in international law,’ stated Hamdan, adding that to date, UFree has received positive response to its letter.
‘It is way past time for the international community charged with protecting these rights to force the Israeli occupation authorities to stop their violations of these fundamental freedoms.’
More information on how all individuals can mobilize to help Allwai can be found at