Red Pepper freelance held in Tel Aviv ...

Red Pepper’s Ewa Jasiewicz

A freelance journalist working for the left wing British magazine Red Pepper has been detained in an Israeli prison after it was claimed she was a security threat.

Ewa Jasiewicz said she was recognised by guards at Tel Aviv Airport from a trip to the country in 2002 when she appeared on a television broadcast highlighting the case of a boy who was killed by the Israeli Army.

Guards also noticed she had Iraqi stamps in her passport.

Jasiewicz told Press Gazette: “They told me I posed a security threat. I said that I wasn’t trying to be deceptive and that I was just a journalist.

“The guard said ‘but you’re an active journalist’ and I replied that just because I come from the Left and am politically active it doesn’t mean that I should be banned from the country.

“I was interrogated by an individual from the Ministry of Defence and was even dragged from my bed on one occasion, but they are treating me quite well now.”

Jasiewicz was this week appealing against being barred from Israel.

Editor of Red Pepper Hilary Wainwright said: “This is a flagrant suppression of freedom of speech and of the press.

“I will speak to ministers in this country, including Jack Straw, to pressure them to protest on behalf of all our interests of press freedom, and to use his power in Israel to stop this suppression.”

By Sarah Lagan

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