Thursday, May 19, 2011

Call for freedom for Bassem and Naji Tamimi

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May 19, 2011
Bassem and Naji Tamimi have organized unarmed protests in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. The protests have featured women prominently, and have focused on an end to occupation: of land, of minds, of hearts— for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

The Israeli army has reponded with raids, arrests, and injuries to men, women, and children. Now they have arrested Bassem and Naji in order to break the spirit of the village. Based on testimony illegally coerced of a 14 year-old, Bassem and Naji are imprisoned without trial. Their freedom will depend on all of us speaking out.

Click here to send this email to the U.S. Department of State:

Subject: Please support freedom for Bassem and Naji Tamimi
Jake Walles, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Paul Sutphin, Director Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs

Your Letter:

I have just learned that Bassem and Naji Tamimi, two committed nonviolent Palestinian protest organizers from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, have been indicted for "incitement" and "organizing unpermitted processions". The two, who have been arrested on March 6th and 24th, respectively, have been placed under arrest for the duration of their trials.

The case against Naji and Bassem Tamimi is largely based on the coerced confessions of two minors, 14 and 15 year-old, who were arrested at gunpoint in the middle of the night, beaten and questioned unlawfully, without being allowed sleep, denied legal counsel and the right to have their parents present.

The persecution of the Tamimi cousins clearly mimics the recent politically motivated judicial witch-hunt against Abdallah Abu Rahmah from the village of Bil'in in both the charges and methods employed.

Nabi Saleh has recently become a focal point of West Bank peaceful, unarmed protest against Jewish-only and illegal settlement expansion. As a result, the village has also become the target of increasingly aggressive disproportionate military repression by the Israeli army. Since demonstrations in the village began on December 2009, more than 70 protest related arrests have been carried by the Israeli military, affecting roughly a staggering 10 percent of the village's 500 residents, men, women and children.

As a believer in justice, I cannot sit idly by as Naji and Bassem Tamimi and their fellow villagers are denied even the basic right to protest the illegal theft of their land. I hope you will take a strong stand on their freedom. Please urge the Israeli government to release them and stop the unlawful detention of protest organizers.