South Africa intervening to bring home Na’eem Jeenah after Israel deports him to Turkey without passport

The Electronic Intifada has received the following update sent by the wife of prominent South African scholar, activist and public intellectual Na’eem Jeenah, Director of the Afro Middle East Centre, who was arrested by Israeli authorities, interrogated and held incommunicado on arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport on 17 May, before being deported to Istanbul without his passport or belongings:

Firstly, a big thank you to all of you for your messages of support. It is much appreciated. I have been in contact with Na’eem recently and he is fine and well. There is a process in place to have him returned to South Africa by tomorrow morning, and at this stage there is nothing to suggest that he won’t arrive as expected. The South African government has been part of this process and has also been in contact with Na’eem. Both Na’eem and myself are appreciative to the Dept. of International Relations and Cooperation, the Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim and the Ambassador to Tel Aviv, HE Amb. Ismail Coovadia for their ongoing support.

Naturally, we are looking forward being reunited in the near future.

This message was sent at 2:45 PM South Africa time on 18 May 2011.

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Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.