Video: Soldiers attack children in Nabi Saleh and arrest Nariman Tamimi

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 26 August 2012

During the weekly demonstration in the village of Nabi Saleh, yesterday, Friday, dedicated to support the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, some of the villagers of Nabi Saleh, along with other activists managed to get to the entrance of village’s spring “Alqaws” which was taken over by the settlers three years ago. Soldiers forcibly prevented them to approach the spring at the same time settlers were swimming in.

video by Bilal Tamimi

Soldiers detained three Palestinian women, one Israeli activist and one American journalist. Among the detainees was Nariman Tamimi (36), a resident of the village and a Popular Resistance activist. Her Daughter, A’hd Tamimi (11) and two nephews, Marah (11) and Wiaam (11), were attacked brutally by soldiers preventing them from reaching the spring, and separating them from Nariman during her detention. [CORRECTION to PSCC report – Marah is the neice of Nariman].

After the arrests, the army raided the village, sprayed “skunk” water and threw stun grenades and tear gas at houses, and used live ammunition through the clashes with the residents. During the raids on the houses, several residents were injured, including: Azmi Tamimi (70), injured in his finger from a rubber bullet shot from point blank range, Martyr Mustafa Tamimi’s grandmother (90), injured in her leg from two rubber bullets, as she sat at her house door, Halla Tamimi (48), injured from a stun grenade thrown into her house and Ahmed Shaker (11), injured in his chin from rubber-coated steel bullet, in addition to several injuries from rubber-coated steel bullets.

During the raid, the army arrested another Israeli activist from one of the houses. The six detainees were held for more than eight hours, in violation of the law, which only permits holding detainees for a maximum of three hours (or six hours in extreme cases), before they are arrested. At 9pm, soldiers put detainees on an army vehicle and drove them for an hour though different settlements roads then drove back to Nabi Saleh entrance where they were dropped off and released.

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Amnesty Calls for the Immediate Release of Bassem Tamimi

By Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 2 March 2012

In a statement released today, Amnesty International pronounced Palestinian protest organizer, Bassem Tamimi, a prisoner of conscience and called for his immediate and unconditional release from Israeli prison.

After nearly a year in Israeli jail, standing trial for charges pertaining to protest organizing in his west bank village of Nabi Saleh, Bassem Tamimi was named prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. In its statement the organization called for Tamimi’s immediate and unconditional release. Tamimi’s next court hearing will take place this Sunday, March 5th, 10:30 AM at the Ofer Military Court.

See here for Amnesty’s full statement.

“Palestinian human rights defender Bassem Tamimi is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for his role in organizing peaceful protests against the encroachment onto Palestinian lands by Israeli settlers, and should be released immediately and unconditionally”, Amnesty International said today.

“The Israeli army has repeatedly used excessive force in countering these demonstrations, as a result of which the organizers reiterate instructions for Palestinian demonstrators to adhere to non-violent methods. Occasionally, individual protestors have engaged in throwing stones at soldiers. One such protestor, Mustafa Tamimi, was shot in al-Nabi Saleh on 10 December 2011 by a high-velocity tear gas projectile fired at his head at close range from an Israeli military jeep. He died the next day in hospital”, the organization’s press release added.

Continue reading “Amnesty Calls for the Immediate Release of Bassem Tamimi”

West Bank Protest Organizer, Bassem Tamimi, to Testify in his Trial on Sunday

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.

Continue reading “West Bank Protest Organizer, Bassem Tamimi, to Testify in his Trial on Sunday”

Main Witness in Bassem Tamimi’s military occupation court trial: “My Testimony was Taken Under Duress”

By Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 28 November 2011

Bassem Tamimi (centre of photo)

Today’s hearing, which was attended by diplomats from eight different countries, saw the main witness in the case, 15 year old Islam Dar Ayyoub, put on the stand. The trial will resume tomorrow, 10 AM at the Ofer Military Court.

The hearing in the case of Nabi Saleh protest organizer, Basem Tamimi, which took place today at the Ofer Military Court, saw the main witness put on the stand and interrogated by the prosecution for nearly five hours. Islam Dar Ayuoub, who was 14 at the time of his arrest confessed to having given false testimony at the police due to the immense pressure he was placed under before and during his interrogation.

The courtroom was packed by over a dozen diplomats led by the Consul Generals of Spain, England, Malta, France and the EU who came to monitor the proceedings in Tamimi’s case, who was recently declared a human rights defender by the European Union.

In his examination Dar Ayyoub was asked about his arrest which took place last January in a pre-dawn military raid on his house. During his arrest he was beaten up and kept in blindfold and handcuffs for several hours until the interrogatory. Dar Ayyoub said to the court that he has been advised by one of his interrogators before the official questioning began to point out Basem and Naji Tamimi as main organizers, and made to believe by another that he would be released if he does.

A video of the examination shows a very tired Islam, completely dominated by three officers who at times make violent, threatening gestures, shout and ridicule him. The boy is seen constantly yawning and asking when he will be released. At some point he breaks down in tears for several minutes.

The boy was not read his rights, nor offered the opportunity to have his father present or speak to his lawyer, who was present at the police station during the interrogation, all of which in violation of his legal rights.

Later in the day, in clear violation of due process, the Military Prosecutor chose to confront Islam with the protocol from his own trial, despite having neglected to present the Defense with the material beforehand. The judge allowed the line of questioning to continue despite objections from Basem’s lawyer. The outraged Defense Attorney asked that judge, Major Eti Adar, disqualify herself on the grounds that “the Defense’s rights have been forfeited”, the judge however claimed to be impartial and refused to comply.

The trial is scheduled to resume tomorrow, with the testimonies of six witnesses, including another main witness, 15 year old Mo’atasem tamimi. The audio-visual recording of 15 year-old Mo’atasem Tamimi’s interrogation proves he was questioned in an unlawful manner, which amounts to systematic violation of minors’ rights in order to coerce them into incriminating themselves and others. During his interrogation, the boy was led to believe that if he will implicate others, he may receive a more lenient treatment.

Continue reading “Main Witness in Bassem Tamimi’s military occupation court trial: “My Testimony was Taken Under Duress””

Military Court Rejects Motion to Release Bassem Tamimi

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: 12 October 2011

A judge at the Ofer Military Court ruled yesterday that Palestinian protest organizer, Bassem Tamimi, will remain in prison indefinitely, until the end of his trial. The judge denied a motion filed by Tamimi’s defense lawyer, adv. Labib Habib, to revisit a prior decision to hold Tamimi until the end of legal proceedings.

The motion to release Tamimi was filed nearly seven months after his arrest, and while only one witness was heard by the court in his case during that period. The defense argued that with the trial being conducted at such a slow pace, Tamimi will not receive a fair trial or a chance to fight for his innocence. With only one of 24 prosecution witnesses heard in seven months, the duration Tamimi’s trial is expected to exceed the anticipated sentence, even in case Tamimi will be convicted by the court.

The defense also pointed out the fact that three hearings were canceled so far at the fault of the prosecution, including one to which their witnesses did not show up and another to which the wrong witnesses were summoned by the prosecutor.

Tamimi’s lawyer also argued that the one testimony that was heard (click here for a summery of the hearing), that on a military commander who was in charge of dealing with the Nabi Saleh demonstrations, was based on hearsay and speculation.

The judge, however, decided to deny Tamimi’s motion, and ordered him to remain in custody. In his ruling, the judge determined that not enough time has passed and that the motion was premature, despite the delays in the trials. The judge also noted that since Tamimi’s alleged accomplice, Naji Tamimi, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, a reasonable time to file a motion to revisit Tamimi’s remand decision will only be a year after his arrest.

Continue reading “Military Court Rejects Motion to Release Bassem Tamimi”

Bassem Tamimi’s Trial Opens; Military Commander Admits Violently Dispersing Nabi Saleh Protests Also When Peaceful

by Popular Struggle Coordination Committee: Sunday, 25 September 2011

The trial of Nabi Saleh protest organizer, Bassem Tamimi, opened today with the testimony of Major Michelle Dahan who alleged that Tamimi ordered youth to throw stones based on the fact that he saw him on rooftops during demonstrations.

After more than half a year behind lock and key, the trial of Palestinian protest organizer, Bassem Tamimi, opened today with the testimony of the first prosecution witness, Major Michelle Dahan. Dahan served as a deputy battalion commander in Nabi Saleh between January and May this year, and was to testify on behalf of the prosecution in order to substantiate allegations of incitement to violence against Tamimi.

 
Dahan, who was commander of the military forces in the area and in charge of the Nabi Saleh demonstrations throughout said period, made it clear that the protests were dispersed before any violence ensued . He said, “[…] after midday prayer, at around noon, some 40 to 70 people would set out from the mosque’s courtyard […] and march down with flags […]. As soon as the procession arrived at the [village’s] main junction, we would declare it illegal and order people to disperse […]. When the march would not disperse, we would start using crowd control measures […]”.

 
Referring to the protesters Dahan said, “We recognized the same activists, the same children and adults, with the adults mostly occupied with directing the forces […]”. Throughout his testimony, Dahan reputedly  to referred to the stone throwing children as “forces”, alternating the two words.

 
 He went on to say that “The defendant would appear at the beginning of every demonstration, and as soon as it would turn violent, the defendant would disappear. During the stone-throwing, when we would enter inside the  village to arrest the stone throwers, we’d recognize him on rooftops”.

 
The indictment against Tamimi alleges that he architected an elaborate system of violence against soldiers during Nabi Saleh demonstrations. Dahan indeed testified that Tamimi directed the village youth from rooftops, but could not back his statement by more that hearsay and speculation. The only concrete incident Dahan was able to tie Tamimi to took place at an unknown date in January wherein he claimed to have seen the defendant standing on a roof top in the village, shouting  and waving his arms during clashes in the village. Dahan, however, admitted to not having heard what the older men were shouting and to the fact that he does not at all understand the Arabic language.

 
When asked why he did not order Tamimi’s arrest based on what he saw, Dahan admitted that his commanding officers ordered him not to do so, saying “My certainty [that Tamimi incited the youth] was apparently not sufficient [to justify arrest]”.
See here for the full protocol of the hearing (in Hebrew)

Continue reading “Bassem Tamimi’s Trial Opens; Military Commander Admits Violently Dispersing Nabi Saleh Protests Also When Peaceful”

Trial of West Bank Protest Organizer, Bassem Tamimi, Postponed Again; to Resume Sunday

After being previous postponed 3 time, Bassem Tamimi’s military court case had been rescheduled to be held on Wednesday 21 September.  It was again postpone, as outlined below in a media release issued by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee.  It is now rescheduled to resume on Sunday, 25 September.

By Popular Struggle Coordination Commitee: 21 September 2011

Tamimi’s hearing was postponed for the 4th time, after the prosecution summoned the wrong witnesses. The trial will resume on Sunday, when three soldiers will testify.
When: Sunday, September 25th, 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.
Media contact: Jonathan Pollak +972-54-632-7736

 
The Military Prosecution anounced on protocol today that it has mistakenly summoned the wrong witnesses to today’s hearing. This was the fourth hearing in the case to have been postponed to date and while Tamimi is imprisoned since late March this year, the court hasyet to have heard even a single witnes in the case. Proceedings in the case have been prolonged as hearings were canceled due to prosecution witnesses not showing up, technical issues and postponements by the prosecution.

 
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.

 
The case against Tamimi is largely based on the coerced testimony of 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:
Despite being a minor, he was questioned in the morning following his arrest, having been denied sleep.

 
He was denied legal counsel, although his lawyer appeared at the police station requesting to see him.
He was denied his right to have a parent present during his questioning.

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

Continue reading “Trial of West Bank Protest Organizer, Bassem Tamimi, Postponed Again; to Resume Sunday”