US journalist who worked for Palestinian news agency voluntarily leaves Israel

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Detained American journalist opts to leave Israel

JERUSALEM — An American journalist working for a Palestinian news agency voluntarily left Israel on Wednesday after being detained for a week and risking deportation, his lawyer said.

Castro Daoud said his client, Jared Malsin, chose to leave because “he could no longer endure the conditions of his detention.”

Malsin’s father is Jewish, according to a colleague. He was detained at Israel’s international airport last week after arriving on a flight from Prague. He has been accused of lying about his reasons for wanting to enter Israel and repeatedly overstaying his visa on past visits.

Interior Ministry Spokeswoman Sabine Hadad said Malsin raised security suspicions during an initial investigation upon his arrival.

An Israeli court issued but then delayed a deportation order against Malsin last week, saying it sought more information about the case. It was unclear when it would have been resolved, Daoud said.

Initially, Malsin appealed the deportation order, but retracted it, a court spokesman said. The spokesman confirmed Malsin left Israel voluntarily.

Israel’s Interior Ministry said he boarded a flight to New York.

Daoud said Malsin had complained that he was not given a change of clothes or a toothbrush during his detention in a basic room at the airport. He did not know whether Malsin plans to return to Israel.

Malsin, a 26-year-old graduate of Yale University from Hanover, N.H., was the English-language editor of the Maan news agency in the West Bank. The agency said Israel has accused him of anti-Israel reporting and that it fears Malsin withdrew his appeal under duress.

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