During the last year, following the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis, the Israeli army has attacked The Freedom Theatre, its employees and their families on six separate occasions. The last attack took place only a few days ago when the Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre, Nabil Al-Raee, was taken from his home in the middle of the night.
The Palestinian Authority has increasingly been cracking down on all forms of dissent or criticism against them. This has also affected the theatre severely. We have had enough and we ask you to help us put an end to the harassment directed at The Freedom Theatre, a cultural venue dedicated to the children, youth and adults of Jenin Refugee Camp and beyond.
Zakaria Zubeidi held in unlawful detention by the Palestinian Authority
Zakaria Zubeidi, co-founder and avid supporter of The Freedom Theatre, was arrested by Palestinian security forces on the 13th of May and taken to Jericho prison. Since then Zakaria has not been allowed to meet his lawyer Farid Hawash or have any contact with his family. Yesterday his detention was extended, without any given reason, with another 15 days.
According to his lawyer, Zakaria’s arrest has not followed due process since he should have been brought before a Jenin court and not taken away to Jericho. His right to communicate with his family after a maximum of 10 days has also been violated, as has his right to consult with a lawyer. After having travelled to Jericho Mr. Hawash was only able to see Zakaria for a minute to say hello.
“I am unable to determine if Zakaria has been treated correctly since I haven’t been able to talk with him,” says Mr. Hawash. “We have to apply the correct procedure of Palestinian law; as his lawyer I must be allowed to meet with my client.”
We ask you to contact the following representatives of the Palestinian Authority to demand that they abide by Palestinian law in the case of Zakaria Zubeidi and other detainees. Please also check if you have a PLO representative office in your country.
Nabil Al-Raee held in unlawful detention by the Israeli army
Nabil Al-Raee, Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre, was abducted by the Israeli army in the early hours of June 6th (see previous press release here:(http://thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=238). Micaela Miranda, Nabil’s wife and the theatre’s Pedagogical Manager, gives her testimony here: http://thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=244.
Nabil is presently being held in the Jalameh detention centre in Israel. Nabil’s lawyer, Smadar Ben-Natan, was today informed that his detention has been extended for another 7 days. Nabil has not been allowed to meet or talk with his lawyer, or to communicate with his family. The interrogations at Jalameh and other military detention centres commonly involve inhumane treatment such as sleep deprivation, psychological pressure and binding in painful positions.
The Freedom Theatre has on numerous occasions expressed its full cooperation in the investigation of the murder of the theatre’s co-founder and former General Director Juliano Mer Khamis. Its members have proved this willingness to cooperate by meeting every requested appointment and answering all questions to the best of their knowledge, no matter how intimidating and insulting the interrogation methods.
This last abduction of Nabil Al-Raee has led us to the conviction that the regular and systematized harassment of the employees of The Freedom Theatre has nothing to do with the investigation of Juliano’s murder. It is clearly a campaign directed at the Freedom Theatre itself.
We urge all supporters of The Freedom Theatre specifically and protectors of art and culture in general to call and e-mail their nearest Israeli representative office to demand the immediate release of Nabil Al-Raee and an end to the systematic harassment of the members of The Freedom Theatre. In addition, please call the District Coordination Office of the Israeli army.
Join the campaign on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FreedomForNabilAndZakaria
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