Human rights defender and Peace Activist Abu Rahmeh in an Open-ended Custody


On Wednesday evening, the Israeli military court in Ofar extended the detention of the non-violence peace activist and human rights advocate Abdallah Abu Rahmeh. Abu Rahmeh was detained last Friday during a peaceful demonstration against the Apartheid Wall and Israeli settlement activities in Bil’in.

Activist and member of the Higher Coordination Committee Against the Apartheid Wall and Settlements  Mohammad Al-Khateeb said that the Israeli court decided to extended Abu Rahmeh’s detention after an appeal made by the Israeli Prosecutor General; the Israeli judge therefore ordered the General Prosecution to present an indictment against the detained.

Al-Khteeb added that despite the military court decision, on Monday, to release Abu Rahma, without conditions, the court allowed the police to appeal its decision. Abu Rahma is still held in Ofer military prison and it’s expected that in tomorrow’s hearing the court will rule to hold Abu Rahma until the end of the proceedings.

Al-Khateeb pointed out that keeping Abu Rahmeh in custody until the Prosecutor General present an indictment against him represents an open-ended arrest emphasizing at the same time that Abu Rahmeh is a symbol for peace activism and is an human rights advocate. He called the Israeli measures against Abu Rahmeh unlawful.

Al-Khateeb said that earlier that day, the Israeli judge ordered the immediate release of Mr. abu Rahmeh and the called for investigating the border police who attacked and arrested him, but then the Israeli prosecutor general appealed the ruling and that led to the open-ended extension of Abu Rahmeh’s detention.

Al-Khateeb called the ruling a serious blow against human rights advocates.

Meanwhile, Munthir Amira, the head of the Higher Coordination a Committee Against the Apartheid Wall and Settlement condemned the ruling of extending Abu Rahmeh’s detention and considered such a ruling to be racist and politically motivated to target peace activist who expose Israeli illegal settlement policies.

Amira called the detention of Abu Rahmeh “a clear violation of human rights and international law”, and he called on local and international human rights organizations to expose, question and challenge Israeli violations.

Amira also called on European consul generals, heads of missions and leaders of human rights organizations to attend tomorrow Thursday the court hearing that will try Abu Rahmeh to show solidarity with peace activists, and to express their condemnation of such violations. Such a step will send a strong message of protest against flagrant violations carried out by the current right-wing Israeli government.

On Friday the 13th of May 2016, the internationally recognised Palestinian human rights defender and coordinator of the Bil’in popular committee against the wall and settlements, Abdullah Abu Rahma, was arrested during the Alwada Cycling Marathon, which took place in the West Bank Friday.