Al-Jazeera correspondent released

New York, January 6, 2003—The Gaza correspondent for the Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, who was apprehended early this morning by Palestinian security forces, was released this evening.

According to sources at Al-Jazeera, Saifeddin Shahin was detained this morning at his Gaza office several hours after Al-Jazeera’s Sunday night news bulletin from Doha, Qatar, aired. During the show, a news anchor conducted a telephone interview with a man claiming to be a member of the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade who said the group was responsible for Sunday’s twin suicide bombings in Tel Aviv, which killed 23. The caller also criticized the Palestinian National Authority.

Security forces detained Shahin and questioned him about the interview, said the sources.

“While we welcome Shahin’s release,” said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper, “we condemn his detention and call on Palestinian authorities to allow journalists to work freely.”