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British journalist arrested in Gaza

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 15 February 2010

A British journalist and documentary film maker Paul Martin has been arrested in Gaza.

Paul Martin

Paul Martin, who worked as a contributor for Channel 4 News during the Israeli offensive in the Palestinian Gaza Strip in January 2009, was held yesterday.

A spokesman for Hamas, which runs Gaza, said he was suspected of endangering state security and had been ordered to be detained for 15 days.

Mr Martin was arrested at a court where he had testified on behalf of a militant accused of collaborating with Israel.

He is reported to have filmed interviews with Palestinian militants before his arrest.

Hamas spokesman Ehab Ghussein said he was suspected of breaking Palestinian law and had chosen a local lawyer to represent him.

The arrest is a significant development in the reporting of Gaza. Hamas, which drove Fatah out of Gaza in 2007, has allowed foreign journalists to report from the Palestinian territory. It is unclear if Mr Martin's arrest suggests that policy has now changed.

A spokeswoman for the British consulate in Jerusalem said the British government was "very concerned" and had been in touch with Mr Martin's family.

The Foreign Office said: "We can confirm a British national has been arrested. We are providing consular assistance."



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