Palestinian detained after Nakba commemoration

29 May 2008 - 2:21pm
News

On 15 May 2008, Mohammed Abu Humus, a staff member of the AIC was taken for interrogation by the Israeli security services as he was leaving a joint Palestinian-Israeli commemoration of the Nakba that he had organised.

The Israeli police waited until Abu Humus left the event before stopping him, along with additional Palestinian and international activists. After checking everyone's identification documents, the police announced that Abu Humus had outstanding debts and they took him away in an unmarked car.

During a subsequent interrogation by the Israeli General Security Services (GSS), Abu Humus learned the real reasons for his detention: his political activism in Jerusalem and opposition to the Israeli occupation. Abu Humus was questioned about, amongst other things, his anti-occupation activities with Israelis and others and his active opposition to the illegal use of roadblocks and detentions for debt collection against Palestinians in his and other East Jerusalem neighbourhoods.

In August 2007 the Association for Civil Rights in Israel submitted a petition to the High Court against the use of 'debt collection checkpoints' in East Jerusalem, in which Abu Humus is a primary petitioner. The petition is still pending. Connie Hackbarth, Executive Director of the AIC, was with Abu Humus at the time of his detention.

"It is clear that the Israeli authorities are targeting Abu Humus because of his determined political activism against the Israeli occupation and actions on behalf of a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis. At the same time Olmert and visiting President Bush were speaking about peace, actions on the ground proved their real intentions. Israel's institutional harassment of Palestinian political activists must stop immediately."

The AIC fears that Mohammad Abu Humus may again be targeted by the Israeli authorities for his continuing work against the Israeli occupation. We ask that you write and demand that Israel stop harassing Palestinian political activists in general, and Mohammad Abu Humus in particular

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