British filmmaker arrested in Gaza Strip
Hamas security forces arrested a British filmmaker Sunday as he arrived to testify on behalf of a Palestinian militant accused of giving information to Israel, Palestinian and British officials confirmed.
Paul Martin, described as a freelance documentary filmmaker, was handcuffed and taken into custody for 15 days as he arrived at the Gaza City courthouse where the trial was taking place, dpa reported.
The Hamas government in Gaza has accused a Palestinian fighter of revealing secrets harmful to "Palestinian security" and collaborating with Israel. Martin, who interviewed the man in the past, arrived at the trial with evidence showing that the defendant had fought against Israel.
Martin is reportedly being held in Gaza's central prison.
A spokesman for the Palestinian militant group Abu Rish Brigades said that Martin was charged with violating Palestinian law and the security of the state, Israeli and Palestinian media said.
The British consulate in Jerusalem confirmed the arrest without giving any detail on the name or the profession of the detainee. The consulate is "urgently looking into the matter" in order to sort it out "on the consular level," spokesman Fadi Adeeb said, Israeli media reported.