- For defenders
- How can I help?
Palestine: Trial of human rights defender Mr Abdallah Abu Rahma
The next hearing in the trial of human rights defender Mr Abdallah Abu Rahma will take place on 24 March 2010 in Ofer, Nothern Israel. Abdallah Abu Rahma is a secondary school teacher and the head of the Bil’in Popular Committee against the Wall, which carries out activities in protest against the wall constructed by the Israeli authorities and which Abdallah Abu Rahma insists violates the economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people. Abdallah Abu Rahma has been in Israeli detention in Ofer Prison since his arrest on 10 December 2009. The Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall was awarded the International League for Human Right's Carl Von Ossietzky Medal in 2008 for its work in defence of human rights.
The sixth hearing in the trial of Abdallah Abu Rahma, which commenced on 5 January 2010, will take place on 24 March 2010 in Ofer. Abdallah Abu Rahma is facing charges of “incitement” under Article 7(A) of Israeli Military order 101, “throwing stones” under Article 53(A)(2) of Military Order 378, “organising and participating in demonstrations without a permit” under Article 3 of Military Order 101 and “possession of arms” under Article 53(A)(1) of Military Order 378. The former three charges each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison while the fourth charge of “possession of arms” carries a maximum life sentence.
Among the accusations under the incitement charge, the military prosecution listed Abdallah Abu Rahma’s instrumental role in organising and leading demonstrations against the Wall and distributing Palestinian flags to demonstrators, an act which is still considered a “security offence” under Israeli military regulations. Under the arms possession charge, Abdallah Abu Rahma has been accused of collecting used M16 bullets and empty sound canisters and gas grenades, previously used by the soldiers to disperse the crowds at demonstrations, and exhibiting them in a museum in Bil’in.
At the hearing on 24 March 2010, Abdallah Abu Rahma ’s lawyer Gaby Lasky reportedly intends to file an appeal with the Supreme Court against the court’s decision to detain Abdallah Abu Rahma pending the resolution of the charges against him.
Abdallah Abu Rahma was originally arrested at his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 10 December 2009, at approximately 2am. Approximately ten Israeli military jeeps pulled up outside his home and and several soldiers entered the house and arrested him. Abdallah Abu Rahma’s wife and three young children were present at the time of the arrest. Abdallah Abu Rahma continues to be held in detention in Ofer Prison.
Front Line believes that these charges have been brought against Abdallah Abu Rahma as a direct result of his legitimate and peaceful human rights activities, in particular his activities in protest against the aforementioned wall and in defence of the economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people. Front Line fears for the physical and psychological integrity of Abdallah Abu Rahma.