[Pnews] Israeli Occupation Forces Intensify Persecution of Palestinian Human Rights Defenders

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Dec 4 11:50:29 EST 2017


  Occupation Forces Intensify Persecution of Human Rights Defenders

December 4, 2017

In the early hours of Monday 4 December 2017, occupation forces arrested 
three human rights defenders as part of an ongoing attack against those 
who speak out against the occupation. The three from this morning are 
all lawyers involved with the defense of Palestinian prisoners. They 
were Khaled Zabarqah from al-Lydd, in the territories occupied in 1948, 
Eyad Messk, who is the head of the legal unit at the Commission of 
Detainees and ex-Detainees Affairs, and Feras al-Sabbah, the director of 
al-Meethaq for Human Rights organization in Jerusalem.

The three human rights defenders were taken from their homes to an 
interrogation centre in Petah Tikva, and are awaiting a detention 
extension hearing. The detention extension hearings are a policy used by 
the Israeli forces to either start or extend the period of 
interrogation, or to buy time for the military prosecutor to file 
charges against Palestinians.

Israeli forces routinely target human rights defenders as part of a 
recently intensifying campaign against dissent. As part of this, they 
also arrested Abdallah Abu Rahma from Beli’n, near Ramallah,) on 20 
November 2017. Abdallah is the coordinator of the ‘Public Committee 
Against the Wall and the Settlements’ in his village. He faced a hearing 
on 22 November 2017 in Ofer and was released without condition. However, 
the military prosecutor appealed for another hearing to be held on 26 
November 2017. The hearing was postponed until 27 November 2017, and 
then postponed again to 6 December 2017 based on an order from the judge 
to open Abdallah’s old files from his previous detentions. Abdallah was 
not given a list of charges, though accusations were made that he had 
taken part in the destruction of parts of the wall and organizing 
peaceful demonstrations.

The UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders defines human rights 
defenders as individuals who play an important role in furthering the 
cause of human rights through activities such as the documentation of 
violations, providing support and assistance to victims seeking 
remedies. Palestinians who organize and participate in protests and 
demonstrations against the Separation Wall and settlements, such as 
Abdallah, are widely recognized as human rights defenders. In addition, 
these human rights defenders, exercising their right to resist an 
occupying force, are afforded certain protections under international law.

Human rights defenders face ongoing forms of indiscriminate and 
arbitrary punishment long after they have been released. Requests from 
them and their families for permits from the Israeli authorities are 
consistently denied, they face targeted persecution and intimidation, 
detention and questioning at checkpoints, defamation, and, in some 
cases, re-arrest.

As the occupation attempts to silence voices of resistance, and to 
pacify an occupied population, Addameer calls on the immediate release 
of the three lawyers from the interrogation center, also on the 
occupying forces to cease its attack on human rights defender.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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