Peaceful protest is not a crime: Call on the US Government to secure the freedom of Palestinian nonviolent organizer Abdallah Abu Rahmah
On October 11 Abdallah Abu Rahmah was sentenced by an Israeli Military Judge to 12 months imprisonment for his involvement in his village's unarmed struggle against the wall.
We are calling on U.S. Secretary of State Clinton to use the United States’ influence to secure the immediate release of nonviolent Palestinian organizer Abdallah Abu Rahmah.
The E.U., the Spanish Parliament, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu have all called for Abdallah Abu Rahmah’s release. How can the US government remain silent over such an obvious miscarriage of justice by a close ally?
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It was with great sadness and outrage that we learned that an Israeli military court has convicted Palestinian civil society activist Abdallah Abu Rahmah of incitement and organizing illegal marches. This conviction concludes an eight-month-long, politically motivated trial, during which Abu Rahmah was kept behind bars. Abu Rahmah was convicted based only on the forced testimonies of minors who were seized from their beds and arrested in the middle of the night; not a single piece of material evidence was presented during the entire trial.
In July 2010 in Krakow at a meeting of Community of Democracies, you saluted “civil society activists around the world who have recently been harassed, censored, cut off from funding, arrested, prosecuted, even killed,” and you called for coordinated international efforts to defend them. Abdallah Abu Rahmah is one of these activists who, in pursuit of human rights, have been unjustly imprisoned.
Abdallah Abu Rahmah is from the West Bank village of Bil‘in, where the community has suffered tremendously because of Israel’s illegal construction of its wall and Jewish-only settlements on village land. Bil‘in has become a symbol of peaceful Palestinian resistance to the occupation, and Abu Rahmah is one of the most visible faces, and a key organizer, of this growing grassroots movement. Israel's attempts to crack down on this nonviolent movement and its symbols are both dangerous and unjust.
As believers in justice, we cannot sit idly by as Abu Rahmah and his fellow villagers are denied even the basic right to protest the illegal seizure of their land. It is expected that Abu Rahmah will be sentenced in only a few days.
The EU, the Spanish Parliament, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu have all called for Abdallah Abu Rahmah’s release. How can the US government remain silent over such an obvious miscarriage of justice by a close ally?
We implore you to submit an official letter of inquiry about Abu Rahmah’s conviction and to demand his release now, before he is sentenced to a long period of imprisonment.
We will continue to contact you about this urgent matter and await your reply.