By Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 14 February, 2012
Almost a year after his arrest, the Palestinian protest organizer from the village of Nabi Saleh, will have a chance to answer his accusers.
When: Sunday, February 19th, 2012, at 10 AM
Where: Ofer Military Court*
* Entry to the military court must be coordinated with the Israeli army’s spokesperson’s office in advance.
Bassem Tamimi, who was arrested on March 24th, 2011, is being tried for organizing demonstrations in his village, Nabi Saleh, north-west of Ramallah. The Military Prosecution’s case against Tamimi is based on the coerced confessions of two children, 14 and 15 years old. In the course of interrogations tainted by illegality and gross violations of the minors’ rights, the two incriminated Tamimi of having organized protests and stone-throwing.
At the opening of the trial, during his arraignment, Tamimi pleaded “not guilty” to the charges against him, and gave a general but defiant statement, explaining the motivation and rational behind the demonstrations in his village. During the course of Tamimi’s trial, new evidence has emerged, including proof of systematic violations of Palestinian minors’ rights during police interrogations, as well as first hand verification given by a military commander of disproportional use of force by the army in response to peaceful demonstrations.
Almost a year into his detainment, the hearing on Sunday will, in fact, be Tamimi’s first chance to face his accusers and give his own version of the events. Tamimi, who has been recognized as a human rights defender by the European Union shortly after his arrest, is expected to say that his arrest and trial is motivated by Israel’s will to crack down of Palestinian popular resistance to the Occupation.