[Ppnews] "What solidarity means": a letter from Gilboa Prison

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jun 21 17:09:51 EDT 2010

"What solidarity means": a letter from Gilboa Prison

Ameer Makhoul, The Electronic Intifada, 21 June 2010

Ameer Makhoul is a human rights defender, the director of the Arab 
nongovernmental organization network Ittijah, a leading voice of the 
Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and a 
Palestinian citizen of Israel. He has been in Israeli detention since 
he was arrested from his family home in Haifa in the early morning 
hours of 6 May. Initially his arrest could not be reported under an 
Israeli gag order, and he was not allowed to see his lawyers for 
almost two weeks. Eventually charged with "espionage," local and 
international human rights organizations have condemned Israel's 
actions against him as politically-motivated persecution intended to 
crack down on organizing by Palestinian citizens within Israel and 
international solidarity. On the very day Makhoul was arrested, The 
Electronic Intifada published an article it had received from him 
days earlier, titled, 
repression of its Palestinian citizens unites us in struggle." He 
wrote the following letter from Israeli detention on 30 May 2010:

After being allowed to get a pen and a piece of paper, which has been 
banned for the last three weeks, and after being allowed to get out 
of my total isolation, it's a moment to write a short letter from my 
jail (Gilboa).

It's a great opportunity for me to express my sincere thanks, 
greetings and appreciation to all the colleagues, friends and 
solidarity groups, organizations and persons, internationals, Arabs 
in the region, Israelis and Palestinians in the homeland and in the 
Diaspora. A very special salute to all those who visited my family 
and supported them after the trauma they passed on 6 May and since 
that late night.

It's a moment to express my great appreciation to all the 
international and local human rights organizations which raised their 
voices loudly. Also to Ittijah's partner organizations all around the 
world which supported my/our struggle for justice and for a fair 
trial in order to get to prove my innocence.

Physically I am still suffering very much but morally it's a great 
feeling to know what solidarity means.

My story is that the Israeli intelligence, the Shabak, assumed 
something without knowing and without any evidence. I was requested 
and forced to explain to them in a very detailed way how exactly I 
did what I didn't do, ever. In case of any logical problem for them 
to complete the puzzle, they have the legal tools to fill it in by 
so-called secret evidence, which my lawyers and I have no legal right 
to know about.

According to the media in Israel, I'm already guilty, a terrorist and 
a supporter of terror. The rule of the game here is that I'm guilty 
whether or not I prove that I'm not. This collective assumption is 
prior to court and trial procedures. The abuse of evidence and fair 
legal procedures are crucial. The Shabak can tell lies to the court 
by so-called secret evidence, banning meetings with lawyers, banning 
the publication of information, imposing total isolation and other 
very sophisticated ways of torture, which leave no direct evidence 
although it is very harsh (see Adalah 
<http://www.adalah.org>www.adalah.org). I believe that my case is an 
opportunity to examine these tools as tools for the criminalization 
of human rights defenders.

I would like to highlight again your support and solidarity. I look 
to it as a very essential and crucial message of support for the 
victim and to stop the oppressor. Thank you. Let us continue with the 
way for justice, human dignity, human rights and ensuring an 
opportunity for a fair trial.


Ameer Makhoul

Related Links
    * "<http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11300.shtml>Israel 
indicts tortured rights activist Ameer Makhoul," Jonathan Cook (27 May 2010)
    * "<http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11290.shtml>Ameer 
Makhoul's arrest is an assault on all Palestinians in Israel," Janan 
Abdu, Issam Makhoul (26 May 2010)
orgs call on Israel to immediately release rights defenders," 
Euro-Mediterannean Human Rights Network, Front Line, International 
Commission of Jurists, The Observatory for the Protection of Human 
Rights Defenders (19 May 2010)
"<http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11270.shtml>Persecution of 
Palestinian citizens recalls S. Africa apartheid repression," Adri 
Nieuwhof and Bangani Ngeleza (19 May 2010)

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