Left: Dr. Ghazi Falah, courtesy of University of Akron website
(Akron, OH) A University of Akron geography professor held for 22 days in an Israeli jail said that he was tied to a chair and questioned for 60 hours after being detained on suspicion of spying for Iran and Hezbollah. Ghazi Falah, 53, who teaches at the University of Akron, was detained July 8.
He was released Sunday without explanation.
"There were five interrogators," said Falah. "I had to sit on a chair, sometimes they tied my hands behind my back, sometimes they released them, depending on their mood."
Israeli officials refused to provide information about Falah to family members, and they denied him the right to speak with his attorney for 21 days. At initial detention hearings, Falah's attorney was not allowed to be present.
Israeli officials declined to comment on the case, and have not returned my calls or emails. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told the Akron Beacon Journal that "based on the investigation and the evidence we had, he was released."
Falah believes he was detained because some of his writings have been critical of the Israel government.
I think it was a political arrest, because of my writing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and about Israel's policies toward its Palestinian citizens, he said.
Falah originally traveled to Israel to be with his mother, who underwent surgery in a Haifa hospital for a brain tumor.