Amnesty International: Israeli detention of Palestinian activists must end

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate release
8th January 2010


Israeli detention of Palestinian activists must end

The Israeli authorities must immediately release, or bring before a fair
trial, three Palestinian human rights activists detained in Israel following
their protests against the construction of the West Bank fence/wall, Amnesty
International said today.

In a letter sent to Ehud Barak, Israeli Defence and Deputy Prime Minister on
Thursday, Amnesty International expressed concern that Jamal Juma’, Abdallah
Abu Rahma and Mohammed Othman were prisoners of conscience, held for
legitimately voicing their opposition to the fence/wall.

“These men have all been involved in campaigning against the building of
this construction, much of it on the land of the occupied West Bank, and we
fear that this is the real reason for their imprisonment,” said Malcolm
Smart, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa
Programme. “If this is the case they must be released immediately and
unconditionally.”

Jamal Juma’ is the co-ordinator of the “Stop the Wall” campaign and a
prominent human rights activist. He was arrested by the Israeli authorities
on 16 December 2009. He has not been formally charged with any offence since
his detention and information relating to his arrest has not been shared
with his lawyer.

A military court in Israel yesterday extended Jamal Juma’s detention for
another six days.

Jamal Juma’ is being held under military law, which allows him to be tried
without charge or trial for interrogation for up to 90 days. As someone who
holds a Jerusalem ID card, according to Israeli law his case should be
handled under the country’s civil, not military, legal system. Since his
arrest he has only been permitted limited access to his lawyer.

Abdallah Abu Rahma, head of the “Popular Committee Against the Wall” in the
village of Bil’in, was arrested on 10 December 2009. He has been charged
with three offences: incitement, stone-throwing, and possession of arms.

Amnesty International understands the possession of arms charge relates to
Abdallah Abu Rahma collecting used M16 bullets, and empty sound and gas
grenades, employed by Israeli forces to disperse demonstrators against the
wall, and exhibiting them in Bil’in museum to raise awareness of Israeli
practices against protestors.

Mohammed Othman, a volunteer with the “Stop the Wall” campaign, has been
detained continuously since 22 September 2009. He was arrested on his return
from Norway, after meeting activist groups there campaigning against the
fence/wall and is being held without charge or trial in Israeli
administrative detention.

The International Court of Justice ruled in an advisory opinion in 2004 that
the construction of the fence/wall on the territory of the occupied West
Bank is contrary to international law and should be dismantled. Israel has
ignored the ruling.

“These three men are all well known for their defence of the human rights of
Palestinians. In the unlikely event that there are genuine grounds to
prosecute these men, they should be charged with recognizable criminal
offences and brought promptly to trial in full conformity with international
fair trial standards,” said Malcolm Smart.

Public Document
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For more information please call Amnesty International’s press office in
London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566 or email: press@amnesty.org

International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK

www.amnesty.org


IOA Editor: Take action – go to the Amnesty International website to make your views known CALL ON ISRAEL TO RELEASE THE DETAINED ACTIVISTS

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