Mairead Maguire: Israel Must Release Palestinian Activist
Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire has called for the immediate release of Palestinian human rights activist Abdallah Abu Rahmah. He was convicted of “incitement” and “organizing illegal marches” by an Israeli military court in late August.
In a press release issued this month, Maguire called the conviction an example of the ongoing repression of Palestinian peace activists by Israel. Rahmah is the coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee, which organizes weekly, non-violent demonstrations against Israeli settlements and the separation wall.
Maguire also demanded the international community take action to defend Rahmah and others like him. In the past six months, 31 Bil’in residents and almost all members of the Bil’in Popular Committee have been arrested. Baroness Catherine Ashton, the EU’s High Commissioner of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy condemned Rahmah’s conviction as an infringement of the legitimate right of Palestinians to protest the wall in a non-violent manner.
The village of Bil’in has lost over 60% of its territory to the construction of the separation wall and settlements. Individuals engaged in peaceful protest in Bil’in have at times faced violent retaliation from the Israeli military, including the use of metal-tipped bullets and tear gas.
As peace talks continue in Washington, Maguire reminded the international community that long-lasting security in the region will require a visible improvement in the day-to-day situation of Palestinians, as well as concrete acknowledgement that both Palestinians and Israeli’s have a right to justice based on human rights and international law.
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Israel: End Crackdown on Anti-Wall Activists, Human Rights Watch, 5 March 2010.
My Husband: Jailed for protesting Israel’s Wall, Mondoweiss, 5 January 2010.
Statement by the spokesperson of EU High Commissioner Catherine Ashton on the conviction of human rights defender Abdallah Abu Rahmah, European Union External Action, 24 August 2010.
The Ongoing Repression of Palestinian Protesters, The Huffington Post, 18 December 2009.
Take part in Stop the Wall action to secure the release of Palestinian anti-wall activists.