[Pnews] Birzeit University Student Layan Nasir Targeted Amid Israel’s Broader Silencing Campaign Against Palestinian Students

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Aug 3 11:21:22 EDT 2021


addameer.org <https://www.addameer.org/news/4464> Birzeit University
Student Layan Nasir Targeted Amid Israel’s Broader Silencing Campaign
Against Palestinian Students
August 3, 2021
------------------------------

03-08-2021

On 3 August 2021, following extended detention and interrogation, Ofer
Israeli military court heard charges submitted by the military prosecutor
against 21-year-old Palestinian student Layan Nasir. The charges brought
against Layan target her alleged role and activities in the Democratic
Progressive Student Pole, a left-bloc student organization deemed unlawful
under an Israeli military order issued by the Israeli military commander in
August 2020. After denying all accusations presented against Layan, Ofer
military court scheduled a witness hearing session on 24 August 2021.
Layan’s recent arrest is one of the latest in an intensifying crackdown by
the Israeli occupation regime against all facets of Palestinian society,
particularly student expression and activism.

Layan Nasir was arrested on 7 July 2021, during which Israeli Occupation
Forces stormed her home in the occupied West Bank town of Birzeit under
pretext of detaining her for a short interrogation. She was handcuffed,
blinded by a mask covering her eyes, along with one for her mouth and
transported to Ofer military camp for interrogation. During interrogation,
Layan exercised her right to remain silent and refused to sign any
statement. In her first hearing before an Israeli military court on 8 July
2021, her detention was extended for seven days. However, Layan has not
been interrogated again since her first interrogation session. She has
since been transferred to and held in HaSharon Prison. On 14 July 2021, the
Israeli military prosecutor submitted a list of charges against Layan. Over
two weeks later, the charges were read to the Israeli military court in a
hearing on 3 August 2021.

The charges submitted against Layan Nasir, a fourth-year student studying
Nutrition at Birzeit University, primarily target her role and activities
in a student organization banned under Israeli military orders. The
military order reflects one of the over 1800 military orders issued by the
Israeli occupation regime since its establishment, which seek to
criminalize many aspects of Palestinians’ daily lives including the
majority of student unions and political parties. The targeting and
criminalization of student organizations by alleging their affiliation to
“terrorist” entities violates the right of Palestinian youth to freedom of
association, expression, and to form student unions.

Palestinian youth and students are systematically targeted as part of
Israel’s protracted silencing campaign. Students at Birzeit University
especially have been subject to systematic attacks
<https://www.birzeit.edu/en/news/birzeit-university-calls-solidarity-after-undercover-israeli-occupation-units-abduct-student>,
IOF raids
<https://www.birzeit.edu/en/news/birzeit-university-denounces-early-morning-campus-raid-israeli-military>,
and arbitrary detention <https://www.addameer.org/news/4439>, all of which
serve Israel’s ultimate goal of maintaining its occupation and apartheid
regime over the Palestinian people. Beyond physical assault, many students
have been further subject to torture and ill-treatment during their
detention and interrogation.

Moreover, Layan’s arrest comes on the heels of IOF intensifying campaign on
Palestinian students, youth groups, and student expression through an
uptick in mass arbitrary arrests and detention of Palestinian students and
the designation of student groups as “unlawful.”[1]Arbitrary arrest and
detention continue to be a key feature of the Israeli occupation’s broader
attempts to repress Palestinian mobilization and expressions of solidarity,
particularly in recent weeks.[2]The most recent mass arrest campaign
<https://www.addameer.org/news/4458>*[3]*of Palestinian students
<https://www.addameer.org/news/4458> engaging in solidarity efforts further
illustrate IOF gross reliance of arbitrary arrests as a form of collective
punishment against Palestinians in violation of absolute prohibitions under
international law.

Student unions, in their role representing the voices of youth, are
essential elements of a democratic society. In Palestinian society
specifically, youth and student unions have contributed to the mobilization
of popular resistance and transnational solidarity against Israel’s
apartheid regime and towards social change.[4]

------------------------------

[1]“Israel’s Designation of the Democratic Progressive Student Pole an
‘Unlawful Association’ is Another Manifestation of Its Apartheid
Regime” *Addameer
Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association*. 08 December 2020.
https://www.addameer.org/news/4259

[2]See Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association’s Recent
Report:“Mass Arrests and Detention Amidst the Escalation of Israeli
Oppression against the Palestinian People”
https://www.addameer.org/media/4393

[3]“IOF Launch Mass Arrest Campaign Against Birzeit University Students
Visiting Site of Israeli Home Demolition” *Addameer Prisoner Support and
Human Rights Association*. 18 July 2021. https://www.addameer.org/news/4458

[4]“Israel’s Designation of the Democratic Progressive Student Pole an
‘Unlawful Association’ is Another Manifestation of Its Apartheid
Regime” *Addameer
Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association*. 08 December 2020.
https://www.addameer.org/news/4259
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