Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Israeli court re-sentences prisoner of conscience Abdallah Abu Rahmah

Editor's Note: The US Campaign, together with several of its member groups, has recently met with officials in the U.S. State Department, urging the administration to push Israel to release Abu Rahmah and stop jailing nonviolent protesters of Israel's illegal annexation wall.
West Bank protester has jail term extended
Leader of village demonstrations against barrier has sentence extended by three months after appeal by Israeli military prosecutors
Harriet Sherwood
Tuesday 11 January
West Bank protester Abdallah Abu Rahmah is facing a further three months in prison after the Israeli military court of appeal today extended his sentence.
Abu Rahmah, a leader of protests against Israel's separation barrier in the village of Bil'in, was convicted in August of incitement and organising illegal demonstrations. This was criticised by Cathy Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, who described him as a "human rights defender committed to non-violent protest against the route of the Israeli separation barrier".
Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa also condemned the conviction.
Abu Rahmah was due to be released in November, but military prosecutors argued for him to be detained until their appeal for a longer sentence could be heard. They wanted him to serve two years "as a deterrence not only to [Abu Rahmah] himself, but also to others who may follow in his footsteps".
Today the judge extended the sentence to 16 months, of which Abu Rahmah has served 13.