An Israeli military court sentenced Abdullah Abu Rahma, a recognized human rights defender, to 110 days in prison for riding a bicycle during a protest against the occupation two years ago.
An Israeli military court sentenced renowned Palestinian activist Abdullah Abu Rahma to four months in prison on Wednesday, for two charges stemming from a bicycle race to mark Nakba Day in 2016.
Abu Rahma, one of the most well-known leaders of the popular struggle against the separation wall, was convicted several weeks ago of violating a closed military zone order and obstructing a soldier during a race in May 2016 in Bil’in, where he is from. Hundreds of Palestinian and international cyclists participated in the so-called “return ride,” which kicked off in Ramallah and ended in the West Bank village.
Israeli security forces raided the village before the race even began, however. Abu Rahma was arrested while trying to explain to the soldiers that they were on his land. He was thrown to the ground, arrested, and held in detention for 11 days.
Nearly all forms of protest are illegal for Palestinians living under Israeli military rule in the West Bank.
On Wednesday, Israeli Military Judge Maj. Haim Baliti agreed to let Abu Rahma begin serving his sentence in mid-December, so as to give the defense time to appeal both the sentence and conviction.
Baliti also applied part of a suspended sentence from another, earlier conviction for participating in another protest a year earlier. The suspended sentence was triggered by the current conviction. Abu Rahma will serve a total of 110 days in an Israeli military prison.Read More