October 14, 2009

Palestinian human rights activist being held without charges in indefinite solitary confinement

by Adam Horowitz on October 13, 2009

Youth holding a photo of Othman at the weekly protest against the Wall in Nil’in.

Here is an update on the case of Mohammad Othman, a Palestinian human rights activist who was detained over three weeks ago by Israel as he returned home from Norway where he had been discussing the boycott, divestment and sanction movement.

On Thursday, October 8, at the second hearing in Salem military court, the prosecution had still not been able to provide any charges against Mohammad. The judge prolonged Mohammad’s detention for a further 12 days. Addameer attorneys appealed this decision and the judge rescheduled the date for the hearing for this wednesday, 14 October 2009. The hearing is due to take place at the Military Court of Appeals in Ofer.

According to Addameer attorneys who represent Mohammad, he is still held in solitary confinement and is being interrogated daily about his trips to Europe and contacts with European organizations. Mohammad has been repeatedly cursed at during long interrogation sessions, which at times lasted from 8:00 am until midnight. However, in neither of these sessions were suspicions against Mohammad made clear to him and he still ignores the reason for his arrest. During one of these sessions, an Israeli interrogator threatened to hurt Mohammad’s sister. “Stop the Wall Campaign” contends that psychological pressure is an often used Israeli technique to coerce a detainee into confessions.

During his solitary confinement Mohammad has been held in a two-square meter windowless cell. You can follow Mohammad’s case on this website.

Also, if you’re in New York you can join Adalah-NY and the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel on Saturday October 17th, 1- 3 PM for a protest in support of Mohammad at Lev Leviev’s store in Manhattan. You can find more information on the protest here.

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