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Israel release journalist

Last updated: 2004-05-27

Peter Hounam

Peter Hounam

Israeli police have released British journalist Peter Hounam - arrested Wednesday at his Jerusalem hotel - after Britain's government expressed concern about his detention.

Speaking outside the Jerusalem detention facility, Mr. Hounam said he was interrogated for several hours by Israel's Shin Bet security service. He also complained of being deprived of sleep. He said he plans to leave Israel on Friday.

In the 1980s, the journalist interviewed Israeli nuclear scientist Mordechai Vanunu about the Jewish state's nuclear program and published his story in London's Sunday Times.

News reports say Mr. Hounam was in Israel to make a documentary on Vanunu for British television and he was allegedly arrested for making contact with the Israeli whistleblower.

Mordechai Vanunu spent 18 years in an Israeli prison for exposing information about Israel's nuclear program. He was released last month, but faces several restrictions on his freedom, including a prohibition against associating with foreigners without permission or speaking to the press.

Story supplied by: VOAnews