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.

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

Military Court orders indefinite remand of Bassem Tamimi until end of legal proceedings

17 April 2011 – Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Tamimi’s political arrest was extended indefinitely by an Israeli military judge today despite problematic evidence. His trial will open on May 8th.
Photo by Oren Ziv - Activestills

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.

Continue reading “Military Court orders indefinite remand of Bassem Tamimi until end of legal proceedings”