Jared Malsin has arrived back in the US after being deported from Israel, and he is starting to fill in some of the blanks around his confusing deportation from Israel. Malsin clarifies that he did not leave Israel on his own accord and was in fact deported.
From Ma’an News:
Upon landing in New York on Thursday, Ma’an News Agency’s Jared Malsin, a US citizen, said Interior Ministry staff pressured him into dropping a legal challenge against his deportation order just two hours after his lawyer left for the day.
After signing a hand-written letter that Malsin said he believed was a "formality," ministry staff sent the paper to District Judge Kobi Vardi, who presided over Malsin’s case, and the judge decided to lift the stay of deportation order.
A motion from Ma’an attorney Castro Daoud, requesting that his client’s hearing continue in his absence, was filed and pending decision as the ruling to expel the journalist was made.
Malsin was subsequently placed onto an El Al flight to New York. "None of this was my decision," he emphasized in a phone interview minutes after arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport early Thursday morning local time, rejecting reports that he left Israel voluntarily. "There’s no such thing as a voluntary deportation. I was deported, period."
Hours earlier, in an armored car en route to the plane, Malsin said he was unaware there were legal implications to the paper. "I had no idea I was waving anything, no clue," he said, explaining how Interior Ministry officials coerced him into creating a legal document to withdraw his case without an attorney present, and offered a misleading explanation over what he was signing.
The document apparently indicated Malsin was leaving the facility "without personal coercion." But Malsin said he was under the impression that the papers he signed would allow him to simply leave the airport while his case continued in Israel.
Malsin added, "I thought it was a formality. In retrospect I wish I hadn’t signed it. I believe the prison guards were extremely manipulative, misleading, mendacious in the way they dealt with me."