Monday, September 8, 2008

Education, occupation, incarceration

The story of Omar Qassis, a Palestinian student detained for more than a year without trial, is far from unusual

In the early hours of March 27 2008 Omar was arrested at his family home by the Israel Defence Forces. Since being taken into custody he has been transported across territorial borders from the West Bank to Mascobia detention centre in West Jerusalem (contravening the fourth Geneva convention), and was denied access to his family or legal counsel. Omar's detention was then extended several times and access to legal counsel was systematically impeded. On May 1, Omar was formally placed under administrative detention and charged with throwing stones on an unspecified date between 2001 and 2002. The charges do not make reference to any specific incident making it impossible to defend against them. They also refer to Omar as an adult, even though he would have only been 16 at the time.

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