17 April 2011 – Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
The arrest of Bassem Tamimi, a 44 year-old protest organizer from Nabi Saleh and the coordinator of the village’s popular committee, was extended indefinitely today at the Ofer Military Court. Tamimi will remain in detention until the end of legal proceedings in his case. The indictment against Tamimi, filed two weeks ago, is based on questionable and coerced confessions of youth. He is charged with incitement, organizing unpermitted marches, solicitation to throw stones, disobeying the duty to report to questioning, and a scandalous obstruction of justice charge, for allegedly giving youth advice on how to act under interrogation by the police in the event that they are arrested.
The transcript of Tamimi’s police interrogation further shows the police and Military Prosecution’s political motivation and disregard for suspect’s rights under interrogation. During his questioning, Tamimi was accused by his interrogator of “consulting with lawyers and foreigners to prepare for his interrogation” – no doubt a legal right.
Tamimi’s trial will open on May 8th, when he is expected to plead not guilty to all charges, admit having organized peaceful demonstrations against settlement expansion and argue that it is in fact the Occupation that should be standing trial.