South African scholar Na’eem Jeenah trapped at Istanbul airport after Israeli interrogation, confiscation of passport

After being detained incommunicado on arrival at Ben Gurion Airport on May 17, Na’eem Jeenah, director of The Afro Middle East Centre (AMEC), has been deported. AMEC has just issued the following statement from Johannesburg:

The director of the Afro Middle East Centre (AMEC) Na’eem Jeenah has been deported to Istanbul after ten hours of interrogation. Mr Jeenah’s passport and all his belongings were not returned. He was deported late last night and is presently in a holding area at Istanbul Airport.

We call on our government to offer Mr Jeenah full consular support and to speedily facilitate his safe travel home.

AMEC also, at the very least, demands vigorous condemnation of this unconscionable act and an official protest to the Israeli government from our Department of International Relations and Cooperation. Mr Jeenah’s passport and belongings must be returned to him.

AMEC has received numerous offers of help and messages of concern from South Africa and beyond. We thank all for their support. AMEC will post an official statement on their website after Mr Jeenah’s return.

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The SA Government should take this issue up with the Israeli Government.