Tag Archives: military court

On the arrests of Nariman Tamimi and Rana (Nazzal) Hamadah in Nabi Saleh

by Nabi Saleh Solidarity: 10 July 2013

Nariman Tamimi (37) and Rana Hamadah (21) were arrested on 28 June 2013 in the village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank, when non-violently protesting Israel’s ongoing occupation. Nariman is a resident of Nabi Saleh and has been arrested 5 times for the leading role she has played in her village’s non-violent resistance to Israel’s occupation and the illegal annexing of village land by the illegal Israeli colony of Halamish. Nariman and Rana have been charged with violating “a closed military zone”, a military order which deemed Nariman’s village and land a military zone.

Amnesty International and the Israeli human rights organisation, B’Tselem have noted that the arrest, charges and trial of both women are an attempt to prevent even non-violent protests against Israel’s occupation.

B’Tselem in a recent statement on the women’s arrest noted: “The military prosecution’s handling of the matter, and particularly its unprecedented request to remand non-violent demonstrators for the duration of the legal proceedings, raises the suspicion that the military might be exploiting these proceedings to keep Nariman a-Tamimi from carrying on her joint activity with her husband, Bassem, in a-Nabi Saleh’s struggle against the village being dispossessed of its land.” http://www.btselem.org/press_releases/2013007_military_tries_noneviolent_demonstarators

In 2012, Amnesty International recognised Nariman’s husband, Bassem, as a prisoner of conscience. Bassem was jailed for 1 year for his role in leading Nabi Saleh’s non-violent resistance to the occupation. Three months after his release, he was once again jailed for four months for participating in a non-violent BDS action in an illegal Israeli colony. http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/israel-stop-judicial-bullying-palestinian-activists-2013-07-04

Amnesty International accused the Israeli military of carrying out a campaign of harassment against Nariman saying: “This is an unrelenting campaign of harassment, the latest in a litany of human rights violations against Nariman Tamimi, her family, and her fellow villagers”. http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/israel-stop-judicial-bullying-palestinian-activists-2013-07-04

Rana recounted her and Nariman’s arrest to Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network highlighting the plight of other Palestinian women political prisoners currently incarcerated in Israel’s prisons http://samidoun.ca/2013/07/rana-nazzal-recounts-arrest-experience-lives-of-women-political-prisoners-in-israeli-jails/

Photo: Palestinian activist Nariman Tamimi (left) and Rana Hamadah waiting the verdict in Ramallah on July 9. Photo by Ahmad Gharabili via Maan News.

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests, Articles, Latest News

Amira Hass: The Lengths the Israeli army will go to ‘defend the Jewish people’

AMIRA HASS ON THE ARREST OF NARIMAN TAMIMI AND RANA (NAZZAL) HAMADEH IN NABI SALEH

By Amira Hass | Jul.07, 2013 |

No less than Israel’s chief military advocate in Judea and Samaria – and dozens of others – were mobilized to keep two women Palestinian demonstrators in custody pending trial.

Ofer military court

Relatives of a Palestinian defendant watch proceedings at the Ofer military court in the West Bank. Photo by Daniel Bar-On

Last week, the Israel Defense Forces proved once again how it spares no resources or manpower to defend the Jewish people from any danger lying in wait. This time the glory belongs to the military prosecution, particularly the chief military advocate for Judaea and Samaria, Lt. Col. Morris Hirsch. Eyewitnesses describe how, at the Ofer military court, he mobilized with great enthusiasm to defend us from those trying to harm us.

On Friday June 28, our forces (the IDF and the Border Police) detained two serial threats to Israeli security: Neriman Tamimi, 37, from the village of Nabi Saleh, and Rana Hamadeh, 22, a native of Kabatia who is also a Canadian citizen. Within a week, in four sessions at two military courts, four judges, three prosecutors and several dozen prison guards, translators, drivers, soldiers and typists were recruited to keep the two women in detention until the proceedings ended. That doesn’t include the defense attorney, Neri Ramaty.

The two women were detained in Nabi Saleh, whose inhabitants have been demonstrating for almost three years to get back their spring, which was appropriated by the settlers of Halamish. In the past two years Israeli soldiers killed two demonstrators in the village; one was Rushdi, Tamimi’s brother. He was shot in the back with live fire.

On Friday June 28, several dozen demonstrators gathered in the village and marched to the wadi. Not one stone was thrown at our forces, and still they fired massive amounts of tear gas. The demonstrators scattered in all directions. Tamimi and Hamadeh ran down the mountain, bumped into two other demonstrators and decided to go back up to the village. Then soldiers appeared, said something in Hebrew, waved a piece of paper and detained the two women.

That was at about 2 P.M. They were led on foot to the area of the spring in handcuffs. There they were placed in a jeep where they were blindfolded with flannel cloth. Blindfolded and handcuffed, they spent about eight hours being driven in the jeep and at two military camps.

Only during a short break for an examination by a military doctor were the blindfolds taken off. Tamimi and Hamadeh were brought for interrogation at the Benjamin police station shortly before midnight.

They were left outside, in the cold of the Ramallah hills, until each was summoned to an investigating police officer. They maintained the right to remain silent. Only at 10 A.M. Saturday did they arrive exhausted at the Hasharon women’s prison. About 40 hours later, 2 A.M. Monday, the two were placed on the “bosta,” the bus that takes detainees to the courts.

Legs in chains

They arrived at Ofer about five hours later. The deliberations on extending their detention began at 10:20 A.M – that was already the second session. On Sunday in their absence, the military judge, Maj. Sharon Keinan, acceded to attorney Ramaty’s request and ordered their release on bail. He didn’t understand what was so dangerous that it required keeping the two women in detention, as the police requested, even if they had violated an order concerning a closed military area. The claim that Hamadeh was guilty of verbal violence did not astound him.

Military prosecutors filed an appeal, which was discussed the next day in the presence of Tamimi and Hamadeh. They were brought from the cell to the courtroom with their legs in chains and their hands in plastic handcuffs. In the courtroom only their hands were freed.

The judge of the Military Court of Appeals, Lt. Col. Ronen Atzmon, told the prosecutor, Capt. Gilad Peretz, that it did not appear the two women’s acts were dangerous enough to justify detention until the proceedings ended. Peretz summoned reinforcements: Hirsch, the man in charge of the prosecution.

Hirsch mentioned the regular demonstrations, which, according to the minutes, he said were designed to “defy the district authorities on a day that has become a focus of problematic behavior. There is no anarchy in the district, there is law and a judge, and the moment the respondents trample the law, the moment things reach the stage of recidivism and breaching the law, we think that at this stage, before and indictment is filed, this act constitutes a clear danger …. The respondents are dangerous based both on their past and on the incidents that took place at the site.”

Home, finally

Judge Atzmon ordered their release. “The nuisance and the anger that the respondents cause the security forces do not constitute a reason for detention,” he said. At 10 P.M. the two women were released to their homes.

On Tuesday July 2, they were told to return to the court, where the diligent prosecutors filed the indictment. Both are accused of violating an order regarding a closed military area, and Hamadeh is also accused of interfering with a soldier.

Prosecutor Peretz once again spoke about their past, about the fact that they specifically went down to the dangerous area near the wadi. Attorney Ramaty claimed that the order on the closed military area was unclear and gave examples of Jews who were not detained until the end of proceedings despite previous convictions. In one case, one detainee who was freed had 27 previous convictions of attacking policemen.

The prosecutors were partly successful. The military judge, Maj. Shahar Greenberg, sent the two women to house arrest until the end of the proceedings, but acceded to Ramaty’s request to postpone implementation. The prosecution quickly appealed the postponement, which was discussed on Thursday – by no less than the president of the Military Court of Appeals, Lt. Col. Netanel Benisho. He ordered house arrest for the two women, on Friday July 5.

Does that mean we have to fear for our safety until another judge rules on the prosecution’s demand?

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests, Articles, Latest News

Palestinian’s Trial Shines Light on Military [In]Justice

Photo by Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times: Islam Dar Ayyoub was taken from his home, then pressed to inform on his relatives, neighbors and friends. His brother Omar, in the picture above, is in prison.

By ISABEL KERSHNER: New York Times: February 18, 2012

NABI SALEH, West Bank — A year ago, Islam Dar Ayyoub was a sociable ninth grader and a good student, according to his father, Saleh, a Palestinian laborer in this small village near Ramallah.

Then, one night in January 2011, about 20 Israeli soldiers surrounded the dilapidated Dar Ayyoub home and pounded vigorously on the door. Islam, who was 14 at the time, said he thought they had come for his older brother. Instead, they had come for him. He was blindfolded, handcuffed and whisked away in a jeep.

From that moment, Islam’s childhood was over. Catapulted into the Israeli military justice system, an arm of Israel’s 44-year-old occupation of the West Bank, Islam became embroiled in a legal process as challenging and perplexing as the world in which he has grown up. The young man was interrogated and pressed to inform on his relatives, neighbors and friends.

The military justice system that overwhelmed Islam has come under increasing scrutiny for its often harsh, unforgiving methods. One Palestinian prisoner has been hospitalized because of a hunger strike in protest against being detained for months without trial. Human rights organizations have recently focused their criticism on the treatment of Palestinian minors, like Islam.

Now, as a grass-roots leader from Nabi Saleh stands trial, having been incriminated by Islam, troubling questions are being raised about these methods of the occupation.

It is the intimate nature of Islam’s predicament that makes this trial especially wrenching for the young man, his family and his community. Most of Nabi Saleh’s 500 residents belong to the same extended family. The leader on trial, Bassem Tamimi, 44, was Islam’s next-door neighbor. Islam was close friends with Mr. Tamimi’s son, Waed, a classmate. And Mr. Tamimi’s wife is a cousin of Islam’s mother.

Photo by: Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times Bassem Tamimi, above right, with his lawyer, was informed on by his teenage neighbor. Now on trial, he denies having told anyone to throw stones.

“This case is legally flawed and morally tainted,” said Gaby Lasky, Islam’s Israeli lawyer. Islam is traumatized, she said, “not only because of what happened to him, but also what happened to others.”

After he was pulled from his home at night, Islam was taken to a nearby army base where, his lawyer said, he was left out in the cold for hours. In the morning, he was taken to the Israeli police for interrogation. Accused of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers inside the village, he was encouraged to identify other youths and the adult organizers of weekly protests here.

In a police videotape of Islam’s five-hour interrogation, the teenager is at times visibly exhausted. Alone and denied access to a lawyer for most of the period, he was partially cautioned three times about his rights but was never told directly that he had the right to remain silent.

Instead, the chief interrogator instructed him, “We want only the truth. You must tell everything that happened.”

The young man, who seemed eager to please his interrogators, described how village youths were organized into nine “brigades,” each assigned tasks like throwing stones, blocking roads and hurling unexploded tear-gas canisters back at the soldiers.

Soon, the arrests followed.

Mr. Tamimi was taken last March and is being held at the Ofer military prison. The charges against him include organizing unauthorized processions, solicitation to stone throwing and incitement to violence. Mr. Tamimi has proudly acknowledged that he organized what he called peaceful protests but denied ever having told anyone to throw stones.

Mr. Tamimi’s wife, Nariman, attended a recent court hearing with Waed.

Asked about Islam, her voice softened. “He is our neighbor,” she said. “The interrogation was very difficult. He was afraid. He is just a child.”

Another organizer that Islam identified for the authorities, Naji Tamimi, 49, spent a year in jail and is about to be released.

Islam also informed on Mu’tasim Khalil Tamimi, who was then 15, identifying him as a youth ringleader. Mu’tasim subsequently spent six months in jail; he, too, identified organizers of the protests.

Bassem Tamimi’s lawyer, Labib Habib, said that the testimony of the two minors formed “the essence of the case” against his client. The defense lawyers contend that the terms of the minors’ arrests and interrogations violated their rights, and that their testimony should be dismissed.

But an official in the office of Israel’s Military Advocate General, who was authorized to speak on the condition of anonymity, said the Nabi Saleh case was “a classic one of orchestrated riots that exploit children.”

The official denied that the case against Mr. Tamimi rested largely on Islam’s testimony, saying there were other witnesses.

Under the Israeli youth law, Islam’s treatment would be deemed illegal. Minors are generally allowed to have a parent or other relative present during interrogation, and there are strict rules about nighttime interrogations and other protections.

Most of these protections do not exist in the military system, though military appellate court judges have stated that the spirit of the youth law should apply whenever possible to Palestinians.

After Israel conquered the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 war, it established military courts independent of the army command. They draw on Jordanian law, on the laws from the period of British rule and on a plethora of military orders issued over the past four decades.

The Israeli official said that the military was striving to close gaps between the two systems, but that the Israeli youth law could not be put into full effect in the West Bank because of the difficult conditions. Israel recently raised the age of majority for Palestinians to 18 from 16, and it established the juvenile military court in 2009. But nighttime military operations were the only way to arrest Palestinian suspects, the official said, because summonses were routinely ignored and daytime arrests could set off confrontations.

Islam’s arrest came as part of a crackdown in Nabi Saleh. A few nights earlier, soldiers had raided the Dar Ayyoub home and other houses, photographing and taking details of all the men and boys. Days after Islam was taken, his younger brother, Karim, then 11, was seized by soldiers and held for hours at a police station on suspicion of throwing stones. Last month, during pretrial proceedings in the case against Islam, a juvenile military court judge acknowledged serious flaws in the interrogation but ruled his testimony admissible.

Sarit Michaeli of B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization, said that the youth judge could have taken a stand but had “failed this particular minor, and all the others.”

Islam spent two and a half months in prison before he was released to house arrest. Since September, he has been allowed out to go to school, which he now loathes. His father says he stays awake all night watching television, fearing that the soldiers will return.

In an interview at his home this month, Islam said he knew his rights, having once attended a workshop on interrogations in the village. But he said that he was told by an officer beforehand that rights would not help him. “I thought that if I spoke, they would release me,” he said.

Most of the villagers have shown understanding. Sometimes friends stop by for an hour or two. Waed is not among them.

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles

Military Court Approves Illegal Interrogation of a Minor

Press Release
Tuesday, 10 January 2012

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 10 January 2012
Major Sharon Rivlin, a judge at the Ofer Military Court, accepted as admissible the testimony of a 14 year-old Palestinian boy who was unlawfully arrested in the dead of night, questioned without being allowed sleep, denied his right to legal counsel and not told of his right to remain silent.

A motion to rule inadmissible the confession of 14 year-old Islam Dar Ayyoub from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh was denied by a military judge yesterday. The motion was part of a trial-within-a-trial procedure at the Ofer Military Court, where the boy is being charged with throwing stones. During the trial, it was proven that the boy’s interrogation was fundamentally flawed and violated the rights set forth in the Israeli Youth Law in the following ways:

  1. The boy was arrested at gunpoint in the dead of night, during a violent military raid on his house.
  2. Despite being a minor, he was denied sleep in the period between his arrest and questioning, which began the following morning and lasted over 5 hours.
  3. Despite being told he would be allowed to see a lawyer, he was denied legal counsel, although his lawyer appeared at the police station requesting to see him.
  4. He was denied his right to have a parent present during his questioning. The testimony of one of his interrogators before the court suggests that he believes Palestinian minors do not enjoy this right.
  5. He was not informed of his right to remain silent, and was even told by his interrogators that he “must tell of everything that happened.”
  6. Only one of four interrogators who participated in the questioning was a qualified youth interrogator.

The abovementioned Israeli Youth Law and the protection it is meant to ensure for minors during their interrogations is not officially part of the Israeli military code for trying Palestinians in Israeli military courts. However, the Military Court of Appeals repeatedly ruled that it should be applied when interrogating Palestinian minors in the Occupied Territories nonetheless.

Nevertheless, the military judge determined that the boy’s confession should not be ruled inadmissible, saying that “In my opinion, the infringement on the defendant’s rights in this concrete case, did not amount to a violation of his right in a way that will sufficiently endanger his right to a fair trial [...].” The decision was made despite a psychiatric expert opinion handed to the court which determined that a boy of 14 undergoing such an interrogation could not be considered to have given a statement of his own free will.

Adv Gaby Lasky, the boy’s lawyer, said, “A reality in which the military court decides to accept the confession of a 14 year-old as admissible evidence despite severe and undisputed violation of his rights during both his arrest and interrogation, is unacceptable. It is an incomprehensible decision, unveiling the fact that legislation allegedly intended to protect minors’ rights is no more than lip service when Palestinians are concerned. This ruling sends a clear message that illegal arrest and interrogation of Palestinian minors can continue unhindered.”

See here for the defense’s closing arguments (in Hebrew).

See here for the judge’s decision (in Hebrew).

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests

Bassem Tamimi’s Trial: Israeli Police Officer to Testify About Unlawful Interrogation of a Minor

By Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 4 January 2012

Jalal Aweida, an Israeli police inspector, will testify about his involvement in the unlawful interrogation of a 14 year-old boy as part of the trial of Nabi Saleh protest organizer, Bassem Tamimi.

When: Sunday, January 8th, 2012 at 10:00 AM
Where: Ofer Military Court*
* Entry to the military court must be coordinated with the Israeli army’s spokesperson’s office in advance.

Following recent escalation in violence employed by Israeli forces towards protesters in Nabi Saleh, including the fatal shooting of Mustafa Tamimi and the use of live sniper-fire, the Israeli Military Prosecution will resume making its case against West Bank protest organizer from Nabi Saleh, Bassem Tamimi, this Sunday at the Ofer Military Court. A previous hearing saw another police interrogator admit to having systematically infringed on the rights of Palestinian minors.

Islam Tamimi

The hearing will include the testimony of Inspector Jalal Aweida of the Israeli Police. Inspector Aweida was one of the key interrogators of 14 year-old Islam Dar Ayyoub – Tamimi’s main incriminator. Aweida also served as one of the officers in charge of the broader investigation into the Nabi Saleh demonstrations.

In his interrogation the morning after his arrest, year-old Dar Ayyoub alleged that Bassem and Naji Tamimi organized groups of youth into “battalions”, assigned with different responsibilities during the demonstrations: some were allegedly in charge of stone-throwing, others of blocking roads, etc.

During a trial-within-a-trial procedure in Islam’s trial, motioning for his testimony to be ruled inadmissible, it was proven that his interrogation was fundamentally flawed and violated the rights set forth in the Israeli Youth Law in the following ways:

  1. Despite being a minor, he was questioned in the morning following his arrest, having been denied sleep.
  2. He was denied legal counsel, although his lawyer appeared at the police station requesting to see him.
  3. He was denied his right to have a parent present during his questioning.
  4. He was not informed of his right to remain silent, and was even told by his interrogators that he is “expected to tell the truth”.
  5. Only one of four interrogators present was a qualified youth interrogator.

The video recording of the boy’s interrogation also shows Aweida making threatening gestures towards him – that included Karate moves and punching his fist into his hand, mocking him, making sexual innuendo in regards to Islam and the female police officer who was in the room. The video also shows Islam bursting into tears halfway through the interrogation as well as nearly collapsing of tiredness.

Tamimi’s trial began more than nine months ago, which Tamimi has spent behind lock and key.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests, Latest News

Two Material Witnesses to Testify in the Trial of West Bank Protest Organiser, Bassem Tamimi on Wednesday

By the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 30 October, 2011

Mo’atasem Tamimi, a fifteen year-old who was unlawfully interrogated at the police, and as a result incriminated Bassem Tamimi and others, is scheduled to testify before the military court on Wednesday

The trial of Nabi Saleh protest organizer, Bassem Tamimi, is due to resume this Wednesday with the testimonies of two main witnesses. The progress of the trial was hindered last week, for the fourth time since proceedings began, after the main witness in the case, fourteen year-old Islam Dar Ayyoub, was not summoned to the hearing due to the Military Prosecution’s negligence. Tamimi has already spent more than seven months behind lock and key, but only five of the 25 prosecution witnesses have been heard to date.

The two witnesses scheduled to be heard on Wednesday are both youth from Nabi Saleh – fifteen year-old Mo’atasem Tamimi, and nineteen year-old Oudai Tamimi.

Mo’atasem Tamimi, the fifteen year-old, was grabbed from his bed at gunpoint in the middle of the night on January 27th, 2011, and questioned unlawfully the next morning. The official transcript of his interrogation, provided by the police, shows that Mo’atasem incriminated Bassem and Naji Tamimi of instructing youth to throw stones, and confessed to having thrown stones himself. However, a video recording of the interrogation reveals important details, omissions and gross discrepancies between the transcript and the actual interrogation.

  • Despite having been arrested at 2:30 AM, his interrogation at the police station in the Ma’ale Edomim settlement started at 8:47 AM, in the interim, and despite his young age he was not allowed sleep. Such form of interrogation is forbidden under amendment 14 to the Israeli Youth Law.
  • Despite his young age, Mo’atasem was not offered the opportunity to have his parents present in the room during the interrogation, in violation his rights as set forth by amendment 14 to the Israeli Youth Law.
  • Only one of his two interrogators was a qualified youth interrogator.
  • Contrary to the official transcript of his interrogation, Mo’atasem was not informed of his right to remain silent until he has already started incriminating others. Instead, his interrogator told him:  “You can tell us the truth, or you can lie. Everything you say, will be noted down and be used as evidence against you in court. If you won’t speak, it will strengthen the evidence against you. I say, in your own interest, i say this for you, you had better tell the truth.” The interrogator then went on to tell him, “You are a young boy, if you tell the truth, the court will take this into consideration and go easy on you. Now, you are going to tell us everything as it happened.”

Udai Tamimi, the 19 year-old, is employed by the Palestinian security forces and was, according to the police, only present at one demonstration. He denied all charges against him in his first interrogation, then confessed and incriminated others, including Bassem Tamimi, in his second questioning. However, he then recanted his statement in his third interrogation, saying he was beaten before his second questioning.

Tamimi has been behind lock and key for the past seven months, in which only one out of over twenty prosecution witnesses have testified before the court. On September 25th, Major Michelle Dahan, who was commander of the military forces in the area and in charge of suppressing Nabi Saleh demonstrations, admitted to having dispersed demonstrations that were entirely peaceful, and alleged that Tamimi ordered youth to throw stones based on the fact that he saw him on rooftops during demonstrations.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests, Latest News

Main Witness to Testify Tomorrow in Trial of West Bank Protest Organizer, Bassem Tamimi

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee : 23 October 2011

Islam Dar Ayyoub, the 14 year-old who incriminated Tamimi after being unlawfully interrogated, will take the stand tomorrow at the Ofer Military Court. Tamimi has been incarcerated for seven months, in which only one witness testified.

When: Monday, October 24th, 2011 at 9:30 PM
Where: Ofer Military Court*
* Entry to the military court must be coordinated with the Israeli army’s spokesperson’s office in advance.
Media contact: Jonathan Pollak +972-54-632-7736

The Military Prosecution will resume making its case against West Bank protest organizer from Nabi Saleh, Bassem Tamimi, at the Ofer Military Court tomorrow morning. Fourteen year-old Islam Dar Ayyoub – one of two main witnesses against Tamimi – is scheduled to give evidence to the court tomorrow, despite a motion by the defense to delay it. The defense has requested the postponement, as procedures by the boy’s own defense team to rule his testimony inadmissible, have not yet concluded.

Islam Dar Ayyoub, also from Nabi Saleh, was taken from his bed at gunpoint on the night of January 23rd. In his interrogation the morning after his arrest, Islam alleged that Bassem and Naji Tamimi organized groups of youth into “brigades”, charged with different responsibilities during the demonstrations: some were allegedly in charge of stone-throwing, others of blocking roads, etc.

During a trial-within-a-trial procedure in Islam’s trial, motioning for his testimony to be ruled inadmissible, it was proven that his police interrogation was fundamentally flawed and violated the rights set forth in the Israeli Youth Law in the following ways:

  1. Despite being a minor, he was questioned in the morning following his arrest, having been denied sleep.
  2. He was denied legal counsel, although his lawyer appeared at the police station requesting to see him.
  3. He was denied his right to have a parent present during his questioning.
  4. He was not informed of his right to remain silent, and was even told by his interrogators that he is “expected to tell the truth”.
  5. Only one of four interrogators present was a qualified youth interrogator.

The audio-visual recording of another central witness against Tamimi, 15 year-old Mo’atasem Tamimi, proves that he too was questioned in a similarly unlawful manner.

Tamimi has been behind lock and key for the past seven months, in which only one out of over twenty prosecution witnesses have testified before the court. On September 25th, Major Michelle Dahan, who was commander of the military forces in the area and in charge of suppressing Nabi Saleh demonstrations, admitted to having dispersed demonstrations that were entirely peaceful, and alleged that Tamimi ordered youth to throw stones based on the fact that he saw him on rooftops during demonstrations.

Background
Bassem Tamimi is a veteran Palestinian grassroots activist from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, north of Ramallah. He is married to Nariman Tamimi, with whom he fathers four children – Wa’ed (14), Ahed (10), Mohammed (8) and Salam (5).

As a veteran activist, Tamimi has been arrested by the Israeli army 11 times to date, though he was never convicted of any offense. Tamimi spent roughly three years in administrative detention, with no charges brought against him. Furthermore, his attorney and he were denied access to “secret evidence” brought against him.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests, Latest News

West Bank Protest Organiser, Bassem Tamimi, in court on Sunday

By Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 07 September 2011

Photo by Oren Ziv - Activestills

Due to technical delays last week, the session on Sunday will see prosecution witnesses take the stand for the first time. Among them the main witness, 14 year-old Islam Dar Ayyoub, who incriminated Tamimi after being unlawfully interrogated.

When: Sunday, September 11th, 2011 at 1:30 PM
Where: Ofer Military Court*
* Entry to the military court must be coordinated with the Israeli army’s spokesperson’s office in advance.

After telling the judge that he does not recognize the legitimacy of the court and of military law during his arraignment on June 5th, Bassem Tamimi’s trial is expected to open this coming Sunday, when prosecution witnesses will take the stand for the first time. On June 14th, the EU has expressed its concern over Tamimi’s incarceration in a statement given during the 17th session of the UN’s Human Rights Council.

Tamimi is incarcerated since late march and the coming hearing, after more than 5 months of imprisonment, is the first in which the allegations will actually be discussed in court. Proceedings in the case have been prolonged after prosecution witnesses did not bother to show up to a previous hearing on June 27th.

Among those scheduled to testify on Sunday is 14 year-old Islam Dar Ayyoub, also from Nabi Saleh, who was taken from his bed at gunpoint on the night of January 23rd. In his interrogation the morning after his arrest, Islam alleged that Bassem and Naji Tamimi organized groups of youth into “brigades”, charged with different responsibilities during the demonstrations: some were allegedly in charge of stone-throwing, others of blocking roads, etc.

During a trial-within-a-trial procedure in Islam’s trial, motioning for his testimony to be ruled inadmissible, it was proven that his interrogation was fundamentally flawed and violated the rights set forth in the Israeli Youth Law in the following ways:

  1. Despite being a minor, he was questioned in the morning following his arrest, having been denied sleep.

  2. He was denied legal counsel, although his lawyer appeared at the police station requesting to see him.

  3. He was denied his right to have a parent present during his questioning.

  4. He was not informed of his right to remain silent, and was even told by his interrogators that he is “expected to tell the truth”.

  5. Only one of four interrogators present was a qualified youth interrogator.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests

Real News: Palestinian Political Prisoner: ‘I reject Israel laws’

Video story by Real News

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Latest News, Video

West Bank Protest Organizer, Bassem Tamimi, to Judge: “Your Military Laws Are Non-Legit. Our Peaceful Protest is Just”

By Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Press release: Monday, 6 June 2011

West Bank Protest Organizer, Bassem Tamimi, to Judge: “Your Military Laws Are Non-Legit. Our Peaceful Protest is Just”
Tamimi, who has been held in custody for over two months, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and held a defiant speech explaining his motivation for organizing civil resistance to the Occupation. (See his full statement below)

After more than two months in custody, the trial of Bassem Tamimi, a 44 year-old protest organizer from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, finally commenced yesterday. Tamimi, who is the coordinator for the Nabi Saleh popular committee, pleaded not guilty to the charges laid against him.

In a defiant speech handed before a crowded courtroom, Tamimi proudly owned up to organizing the protest in the village saying, “I organized these peaceful demonstrations to defend our land and our people.” Tamimi also challenged the legitimacy of the very system which trys him, saying that “Despite claiming to be the only democracy in the Middle East you are trying me under military laws [...] that are enacted by authorities which I haven’t elected and do not represent me.” (See Tamimi’s full statement at court bellow).

Tamimi was interrupted by the judge who warned him that it was not a political trial, and that such statements were out of place in a courtroom. Tamimi was cut short and not allowed to deliver his full statement.

After Tamimi finished reading his shortened statement, the judge announced that the hearing’s protocol has been erroneously deleted. However he refused to submit the full written statement to the stenographer. She went on to dictate a short summary in her own words for official record.

Media contact: Jonathan Pollak +972-54-632-7736

The indictment against Tamimi is based on questionable and coerced confessions of youth from the village. He is charged with’ incitement’, ‘organizing and participating in unauthorized processions’,’ solicitation to stone-throwing’, ‘failure to attend legal summons’, and a scandalous charge of ‘disruption of legal proceedings’, for allegedly giving youth advice on how to act during police interrogation in the event that they are arrested.

The transcript of Tamimi’s police interrogation further demonstrates the police and Military Prosecution’s political motivation and disregard for the suspect’s rights. During his questioning, Tamimi was accused by his interrogator of “consulting lawyers and foreigners to prepare for his interrogation”, an act that is in no way in breach of the law.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under arrests, Latest News