Posts Tagged ‘West Bank’

Israel urged to drop charges against Palestinian lawyer Anas Barghouti and other HRDs in Addameer

October 29, 2013

Amnesty International – among a plethora of NGOs – urges Israel to drop charges against Palestinian lawyer Anas Barghouti (24 October 2013). It says that Israeli must drop all charges against the Palestinian human rights lawyer released on bail last night. Anas Barghouti, a lawyer with the Addameer Association for Prisoner Support and Human Rights, was released on bail on the orders of a military judge at Ofer Military Court yesterday because confessions from other detainees submitted as evidence failed to prove he is a security threat. Barghouti had been arrested by the Israeli army more than a month ago 15 September, at a checkpoint north of Bethlehem in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Nine days later he was charged with “membership in the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine” – an organisation which Israel has banned – and “leadership of a committee to organise demonstrations”. Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Director Philip Luther said:“The release of Anas Bargouthi is positive news but he should have never been detained and charged in the first place.“ Barghouti’s arrest is part of a pattern of harassment by the Israeli authorities of Palestinian human rights organisations and activists in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, with individuals suffering arbitrary detentions, restrictions on movement, and raids of homes and offices. For example, last December Israeli security forces raided the offices of Addameer and two other Palestinian NGOs in Ramallah, seizing computers, work files and equipment and ransacking the premises. Addameer’s chair, Abdullatif Ghaith, a resident of East Jerusalem, has been banned by Israel’s military from entering other parts of the occupied West Bank or travelling abroad since 2011. Meanwhile, on 23 September, a week after the Bargouthi’s arrest, Israeli forces also arrested Samer Arbid, Addameer’s accountant. He was placed in custody for questioning until 21 October and then given a four-month administrative detention order – a military order without charge or trial which can be extended indefinitely.  Yet another activist from Addameer – Ayman Nasser – was arrested in October last year and charged with offences that included membership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and carrying out activities in support of Palestinian prisoners. He was convicted of these charges a month later and spent a year in prison after a trial by military court, being released earlier this week. In detention Nasser told his lawyer that he had been tortured during interrogation following his arrest. He said he was interrogated for up to 20 hours every day and that during the interrogations he was kept in a stress position on a chair with his hands tied behind his back.

via AIUK : Israel must drop charges against Palestinian lawyer Anas Barghouti.

 

Stop the Wall activist Hassan Karajah arrested by Israel

February 5, 2013

karajah1

The Palestinian News Network on 4 February 2013 reported that in the early hours of Wednesday 23rd January 2013, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrested Hassan Yasser Karajeh, a 29 year old youth activist in the Stop the Wall Campaign, violently breaking into his home in the West Bank village of Safa, west of Ramallah. Since then he is in interrogation without access to his lawyer or family. He is part of a new generation of active Human Rights Defenders. ‘Stop the Wall‘ asks solidarity groups, social movements, human rights organizations and concerned citizens to act together to free Hassan Karajah and stop the repression of human rights defenders in Palestine.

Palestinian HRD Nariman Tamimi speaks out on repression of peaceful protest in AI video

November 5, 2012

In Greece there is a frequently heard ‘complaint’ that international human rights groups – in particular AI – have the same agenda as the USA. At a recent meeting with friends in Chania, AI’s position on Pussy Riot was quoted as evidence.

I countered by pointing out that AI on many occasions has taken a stand that seems to go against US policy, from the death penalty to Guantanamo Bay and the Israeli occupied territories. A recent video referred to here makes that clear again in the case of Israel. Perhaps even more shocking are some of the comments that seems to confirm the existence of an orchestrated response [by whom?] to equal any criticism of Israel to anti-Semitism.

Every Friday since December 2009 residents of al-Nabi Saleh and solidarity activists gather around noon in the village centre and march peacefully towards the spring. They have been met repeatedly with unnecessary and excessive force by the Israeli army including the use of stun grenades, pepper spray, batons and guns. Demonstrations are dispersed as soon as they begin and are usually not allowed to reach the spring. The Israeli army raids the village regularly, usually during the night, and conducts house searches and arrests, including the arrest of children under the age of 15.

Israeli military laws in place in the West Bank impose sweeping and arbitrary restrictions on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, requiring people to obtain advance permission from the Israeli military for any proposed gathering of 10 or more persons “for a political purpose of for a matter that could be interpreted as political”.  Nariman Tamimi told Amnesty International that in al-Nabi Saleh and all areas where there is popular resistance, police use extreme violence, noting that “there is nothing [to the protests] except that you chant and express your opinion.” As one of the organizers of the al-Nabi Salneh protests and a coordinator of the village’s popular committee, Bassem Tamimi and his family have been the target of harsh treatment by the Israeli army.  For more see the excellent film:

AI video on Palestinian protest

 

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.

Israel refuses to let HRD Shawan Jabarin travel to receive award in Denmark

November 30, 2011

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

Image via Wikipedia

On 29 November 29, 2011 Israeli authorities turned West Bank resident Shawan Jabarin, the director of the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq, back at the Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan, citing a travel ban. Several NGOs, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and B’Tselem, said that the Israeli authorities violated Jabarin’s rights in imposing the ban and have not produced any evidence that would justify continuing to restrict him from travel.

The travel ban would seem to be clearly linked to his human rights work as Jabarin was stopped since 2006, when he became director of Al-Haq, a leading human rights organization in the West Bank, while Israel had allowed him to travel abroad eight times in the previous seven years. The Israeli military previously claimed in court that Jabarin was an activist in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which Israel considers a terrorist organization, and that his travel abroad for even a limited period would endanger Israel’s security. However, Israeli authorities have not charged Jabarin with any crime or given him an opportunity to confront the allegations against him. The Israeli High Court of Justice has upheld Jabarin’s travel ban on security grounds, but did so based on secret information that Jabarin and his lawyer were not allowed to see or challenge. “It is hard to believe any claim that Jabarin’s travel to Denmark to receive a human rights award would harm Israeli security, the more so when any evidence is kept secret,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “While civil society groups recognize Jabarin’s courageous work, Israel is punishing him with a travel ban.”

The ban has prevented Jabarin from leaving the West Bank to receive a human rights prize from the Danish PL Foundation (Poul Lauritzen), participate in a European Union forum on human rights, and attend a Human Rights Watch meeting in New York City.  “The ban preventing Shawan Jabarin from traveling abroad to receive an award is emblematic of the arbitrary restrictions placed on Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society activists,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s MENA Programme Director. “It must be lifted, and the Israeli authorities must stop using unspecified security concerns to obstruct the work of Palestinian human rights activists.”  Nina Atallah, the head of Al-Haq’s monitoring and documentation department, will try to travel to the prize ceremony.

It is a pity that Israel,in this respect, is emulating Iran, which is the only country until now to prevent the MEA Laureate Emad Baghi to travel to his ceremony in 2009.
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