Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Israeli court orders activist held three more days

Jerusalem – Ma’an – An Israeli military court in Ramallah on Monday extended the detention of Stop the Wall Campaign activist Jamal Juma for a further three days, he said following the hearing.

"This case is not only about me. It is an attack on all those that are standing up against the wall and the occupation," Juma said in a statement released by the Stop the Wall campaigners.

On Monday, a demonstration was held outside the Ofer prison where Juma's court hearing was held. Fifty people, including diplomats, Palestinian, Israeli, and international supporters crowded into the hearing, which was held in a mobile home in the prison compound.

Juma stated that the detention conditions are below "human dignity," creating and deteriorating health problems of the detainees. He concluded, pointing at his shackles and the orange uniform, "just like those they use in Guantanamo."

Since his detention, Juma told the court, no investigator has spoken with him concerning his case. "This underlines how his detention is arbitrary. It is meant solely to humiliate Palestinian leadership and is an attempt to immobilize the grassroots struggle of Palestinian civil society," the campaigners said.

"The judge extended Jamal's detention despite stating that he understood from the documents in Jamal's secret file that the investigation process appears to have concluded. In addition, the police officer who was supposed to be responsible for explaining why the investigators had requested Jamal be detained longer was absent from court thus unable to explain why the Israeli authorities had requested more time."

The rally outside the prison was attended by numerous activists and representatives of Palestinian political parties and civil society, in addition to Palestinian Israeli Knesset Member Mohammad Barakeh. Protesters from Israel came to show their support "[v]isible to those on the other side but separated by a military checkpoint."

Juma will have another hearing on Thursday. Hearings are also scheduled on Tuesday for human rights and anti-wall activists Mohammed Othman and Abdallah Abu Rahmah

"Protests are set to continue as Palestinian civil society continues to resist this latest attempt by Israeli authorities to intimidate and repress civil resistance to its illegal Occupation," the statement concluded.