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Israeli rights groups protest detention of journalist in Lebanon

                                September 27, 1999 17:36 GMT

  TEL AVIV, Sept 27 (AFP) - Israeli human rights groups gathered outside
the ministry of defence Monday to
   protest the detention of a Lebanese journalist jailed without trial in
the Israeli-occupied security zone of  southern Lebanon.

     Some 30 protestors demanded that Israeli Prime Minister and Defence
Minister Ehud Barak release freelance
   journalist Cosette Ibrahim, 25, who is being held by Israel's proxy
militia, the South Lebanon Army (SLA), in  Khiam prison.

  She was seized on September 2 near Rmeish village in the occupied zone
with two men identified as De Gaulle Bou Taleb, 40, and Samir Khiami, 22.

   Mohammad Barakeh, the leader of the communist Hadash party in the
Knesset, Israel's parliament, urged Barak to release Ibrahim immediately.

   "I sent the prime minister a letter urging him to release the journalist
 and asking him to grant me permission to
    go to visit her and assess the situation on the ground," Barakeh, an
 Arab Israeli, told AFP.
   "The government is acting like a gang of highway robbers, this time they
 went too far," he said, putting the
    responsibility for Ibrahim's detention on Israel's shoulders.
    "Israel is responsible for what goes on in Khiam, I know that because I
 am in touch with people detained there.
    I reject Israeli claims that it is run by the SLA," he added.
    Amnesty International has repeatedly criticised cases of torture and ill
 treatment of the more than 140  detainees at Khiam.
    Lebanese human rights groups say Ibrahim is accused of writing reports
 about the occupied zone and
    submitting information to the Lebanese army about Israeli military
  The Israeli army was not available for immediate comment.

Copyright 1999 Agence France Presse
                                     Agence France Presse