New report by Israeli and international rights groups demand more protection for the right to protest. But even as the report shines a light on the West Bank, how can you protect a right you don't have? If freedom of expression is the grievance system of democracies, the right to protest and peaceful assembly is democracy’s megaphone. It is the tool of the poor and the marginalized – those who do not have ready access to the levers of power and influence, those who need to take to the streets to make their voices heard. ('Take back the streets: Repression…Read More...
On Friday, December 7th, thousands hit the streets of Tel Aviv for the annual Human Rights March, put on by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). The march gathered more than 130 organizations that promote human rights, social change, equality, and democracy. The march marked International Human Rights Day, which is observed every year on December 10th, the day in which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The event ended in Rabin Square with performances by several Israeli artists and a keynote speech by author and ACRI President Sami Michael. …Read More...
In a plea bargain, Bassem Tamimi was sentenced to four months in prison, ordered to pay a fine of NIS 5,000, and given an additional three-year suspended sentence. Just recently having completed a 13-month prison stint, he was arrested last month while taking part in a protest at a settlement supermarket. By Alon Aviram Ofer Military Prison -- A series of military courts operate inside a row of cramped and dilapidated cabins. An Israeli flag hung from the ceiling overlooking a line of seated and shackled defendants. Courtroom staff and defendants looked equally bored, both by the tedious bureaucratic processes…Read More... | 2 Comments
Amnesty International has called for the release of activist Bassem Tamimi, whom they define as a prisoner of conscience. The 45 year-old father of four from Nabi Saleh was arrested October 24 during a protest action at a branch of Rami Levy, a Jewish-owned supermarket chain that has several branches in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The chain stocks settlement goods, but refuses to stock Palestinian produce or products. Last year, Haaretz reported that the supermarket had instituted a policy of separating male Arab grocery baggers from female Jewish cashiers after two such employees became romantically involved. The protest, which was…Read More... | 5 Comments
Approximately 100 Palestinians and a handful of international activists entered the Rami Levy supermarket in the West Bank settlement of Sha'ar Binyamin Wednesday morning to 'protest occupation and settler terror' and to call for the boycott of 'the occupation and its products.' Two Palestinians and two internationals were beaten and arrested. Palestinian and international activists were unarmed. Carrying flags and signs, they entered the supermarket, chanting for freedom. They say that the Israeli police used excessive force to disperse the nonviolent protest. Activist Abir Kopty, who was at the scene, reported that "as activists exited the building, about forty policemen…Read More... | 19 Comments
Bassem Tamimi, one of the leaders of the popular unarmed struggle in Nabi Saleh, was sentenced Tuesday to 13 months in prison – the period of time he has already served. Tamimi: "The court sent political prisoners a clear message that they are better off confessing to what they have not done". Tamimi, one of the most prominent activists in Nabi Saleh who has stated countless times his commitment to nonviolent resistance, was arrested in March 2011 and charged with a series of accusations revolving around the demonstrations in his village. Two weeks ago he was acquitted of incitement, yet…Read More... | 9 Comments
Bassem Tamimi has been sitting in an Israeli prison for over a year. Tamimi is a prominent Palestinian activist from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, where he has led the small village's popular unarmed struggle against Israeli occupation and takeover of land since its beginnings at the end of 2009. Tamimi was arrested in his home on March 24, 2011 for organizing protests and inciting against Israel, based on testimony by Islam Dar Ayyoub, a 14-year old resident of Nabi Saleh who was taken from him home in the middle of the night by Israeli forces for interrogation. His…Read More...
From Bahrain to Tunisia, at demonstrations, in interviews and in their own writing, they repeat, “We will not be quiet.” In their refusal to view the rights of women as a cause separate from civil rights, human rights and pro-democracy activism, female Arab protestors have taken feminism to a new level. By Lisa Goldman During the January 25 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak, two women from vastly different backgrounds worked side-by-side at Tahrir Square, organizing the distribution of donated food and medical supplies. One was a secular, feminist attorney who wears slim jeans and has her hair done at one…Read More... | 5 Comments
Mustafa Tamimi of Nabi Saleh died yesterday morning in Beilinson Hospital. There's no debate over the cause of death: Tamimi was shot in the head at close range during the weekly demonstration in his village. The weapon: a high force, long range tear gas canister. According to a number of witnesses, backed up by photographs, the canister was fired point-blank, in total contravention of army regulations, from a distance of less than ten meters. The shooter: an Israeli soldier, from a Jeep. It's not every day that the authorities come in possession of such a picture, which can supply more…Read More... | 19 Comments
By Raghad Jaraisy (1) The day: December 10, 2009. The time: Somewhere between sunrise and the first pangs of lunchtime hunger. The place: Tel Aviv and A-Nabi Salah – so near and so far. The scene: For the first time, we marched together in a festival of democracy and human rights that occupied the streets of the big city, reverberating in every direction. On the same day, the residents of A-Nabi Salah also attempted to march for the first time to protest the seizure of their land by settlers. While we waved banners and shouted slogans for democracy; while we tried…Read More... | 2 Comments
In a letter to the French-Palestine Solidarity Association, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé slams Israel for arresting and trying Bassem Tamimi in military court. Mr. Juppé states that "an official demarche has recently been delivered on his behalf to the Israeli authorities by the chief representative of the European Union delegation in Tel Aviv" Palestinian protest organizer Bassem Tamimi was arrested by the Israeli army last March, and has been in prison ever since. Tamimi, a father of four from Nabi Saleh, has been the target of the Israeli security forces since the beginning of the unarmed protest in his…Read More... | 5 Comments
A near-universal conviction rate, testimonies provided under duress, prolonged detention, the absence of attorneys and tolerance to crimes by IDF soldiers: the trials of Bassem Tamimi and Ashraf Abu Rahmah demonstrate the lengths that military courts will go to in order to keep peaceful Palestinian activists behind bars. 99.76. That, according to a new study, is the percentage of convictions in Israeli military courts in which Palestinians in the occupied territories are tried (for some reason the translation of this piece to English has it at 99.74, perhaps trying to make things look better for the foreign audience ). It…Read More... | 3 Comments
The embattled village of Nabi Saleh saw a resumption of night raids last night. The house of imprisoned popular committee leader Bassem Tamimi was raided by Israeli soldiers at 02:00 this morning, according to Palestinian activist @Tweet_Palestine on Twitter. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.Read More... | 53 Comments
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