Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Filling up Israel's jails to no avail

The imprisonment of Palestinian activists such as Mohammad Othman aims to curb dissent – but it seems to be backfiring

Seth Freedman
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 20 October 2009

"The plight of Palestinian activist Mohammad Othman has dominated the agendas of NGOs in the region ever since his detention in late September. However, while his case is at the forefront of their minds, Othman is just one of 11,000 Palestinian prisoners currently held in Israeli jails, 800 of whom are incarcerated under the terms of administrative detention – meaning that they are imprisoned indefinitely without any charges brought against them.

As things stand, Othman appears to be heading for the murky world of administrative detention, given the treatment handed out to him thus far by the military courts. Othman was arrested by soldiers at the Allenby Bridge crossing on 22 September as he tried to return home to the West Bank town of Jayyous following an advocacy trip to Norway. Despite a lack of evidence presented against him in court, judges in subsequent hearings have extended his remand, leading to his having spent almost a month in solitary confinement.........."

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