Adalah-NY calls on people in New York and worldwide to work for the immediate release of Palestinian human rights defender Mohammad Othman. For the past two years, Adalah-NY has focused attention on the dire human rights situation in the West Bank farming village of Jayyous in which Mohammad Othman resides. Jayyous has been devastated by the construction on the village's land of the Zufim settlement by Israeli businessman Lev Leviev, as well as Israel's construction of its wall. Israel's wall, which cuts Jayyous off from most of its farmland, is intended to annex that land for the expansion of Leviev's Zufim settlement. The Israeli army has responded to Jayyous' protests against the construction of the wall and settlements with violence and arrests. Due to the involvement of Leviev's companies in settlement construction in Jayyous and other Palestinian villages, Adalah-NY and groups in Palestine and around the world have called for a global boycott of Leviev's businesses.
Within the overall context of Adalah-NY's concern for human rights defenders from Jayyous, we call on people to act to support the campaign outlined below to Free Mohammad Othman Now!
Free Mohammad Othman Now!
On September 22, Mohammad Othman was detained and arrested by soldiers on the Allenby Bridge Crossing, the border from Jordan to Palestine. He was returning from a trip to Norway.
Mohammad, 33 years old, has dedicated the last ten years of his life to the defense of Palestinian human rights. His village, Jayyous, has lost most of its land to the Wall and the settlements. He has worked constantly to let the world know about the Israeli crimes against his people and has developed relations of international solidarity.
This is not the first time Palestinian human rights defenders have been arrested after trips abroad. Also recently arrested was Muhammad Srour, an eyewitness to the killing of Arafat Khawaje, 22, and 20-year-old Mohammed Khawaje, both shot on a Gaza solidarity demonstration in Ni’lin on 28th December. Muhammad Srour testified in front of the UN Fact Finding Mission on Gaza and, in a clear act of reprisal, he was arrested on his way back. This strategy of arrests complements the overall policy of isolation of the Palestinian people behind checkpoints, walls and razor wire.
We call on international solidarity and human rights organizations to act immediately to bring attention to this case and advocate for the release of Mohammad Othman by:
- Encourage others to join this campaign through petitions, demonstrations and / or letter writing / phone calling. Please provide them with contact information and details;
- Urge your representatives at consular offices in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem/Ramallah to demand the immediate release of Mohammad Othman. (For your consular contacts, see: http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-in/Israel#11725);
- Let the Israeli Embassy in your country know that you are campaigning for Mohammad’s release and for a just and lasting peace based on international law. For the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC, phone (202) 364-5500 press 1 for english and then 8 for Ambassador Michael Oren's office, or fax (202) 364-5560, or email [email protected];
- Bring the case of Mohammad Othman to the attention of local and national media outlets;
- Follow the blog and facebook to free Mohammad Othman to see the latest updates and action alerts.
Mohammad Othman, however, represents only one of the 11,000 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons. More than 800 are being held in “administrative detention”, meaning that they are imprisoned (indefinitely) without charge. International solidarity has to hold Israel accountable and achieve an end to the large scale repression and mass imprisonment of Palestinians as part of their efforts to bring about an end to the occupation and the restoration of Palestinian rights.