Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’

Why did so many assume B’Tselem fire was arson?

January 13, 2016

Further to my post about the pressure under which human rights defenders in Israel have to work [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/michael-sfardjan-israels-human…] this post by Chelsey Berlin (B’Tselem USA) “The blaze at B’Tselem’s Jerusalem office was an accident, but many of us assumed it was arson”  is telling:

In “Why Did We Assume B’Tselem Fire Was Arson?” she explains the context:  …..”For months, the message that human rights defenders are the problem in Israel has been repeatedly delivered with sledgehammer strength: In Tirtzu’s video labeling four human rights activists, including B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad, “moles”; the government’s ongoing legislative crusade against organizations receiving foreign government funding, and last Thursday’s sensationalized report on an Israeli TV news program that aired false accusations against a B’Tselem field researcher. All this is done to hide the dire situation they expose, the real evil, which is the occupation, the human rights violations it produces in the occupied Palestinian territories and the fascism increasingly required of Israel to maintain it.“….

(When news broke on 10 January 2015 of a fire at B’Tselem’s Jerusalem office most feared the worst: arson. Since then, the smoke has cleared — literally — and a preliminary investigation has been concluded. The Jerusalem fire brigade has announced that the cause of the fire was likely an electrical fault.)

Source: Why Did We Assume B’Tselem Fire Was Arson? – Opinion – Forward.com

Ayman Nasser, Palestinian HRD in Israeli detention

October 23, 2012

Map showing the West Bank and Gaza Strip in re...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general may get a lot of media attention but the issue of individual HRDs in Palestine often remains outside the limelight. Here is a recent example:

The Jerusalem based NGO Addameer reports that its staff researcher and longtime prisoner advocate Ayman Nasser was abducted from his home by occupation forces early on October 15. On October 18, he appeared in a military court in Jerusalem where his interrogation period was extended by seven days. Ayman addressed the court directly with the following words: “I believe that every human being has opinions and positions and if it’s not violating the law he can freely think and speak these opinions. I am a human rights defender who supports the Palestinian prisoners and I represent my opinions in the public media. My thoughts are not secret, they are public, and everyone knows them.”

Like many Palestinian prisoners, Ayman is subject to medical neglect – he is currently only receiving two out of the five medications that he requires daily. Addameer reported, “The judge ruled that based on ‘secret evidence’ he would extend Ayman’s interrogation period for another seven days and referred the situation of the medicine to the doctor at Moskobiyyeh detention center.” Moskobiyyeh, where Ayman is now held, is one of the most notorious detention centres in the Israeli occupation system; he was interrogated for 10 hours straight on October 17 and his interrogation has continued with similar intensity since that time.

Ayman spent six years in Israeli prisons, from 1992 to 1997. He has worked at Addameer since 2008, lectures in social work at Al-Quds Open University, and directs the Handala Centre, a cultural centre in Saffa village. On October 21, it was announced that he won a seat on his village’s municipal council in the weekend’s West Bank municipal elections, from his cell in Israeli detention.

Click here to send a letter to Israeli officials demanding the immediate release of Ayman Nasser and an end to the persecution of Palestinian human rights defenders.