Release Ameer Makhoul, All Palestinian Political Prisoners!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010 13:37 Frantz Fanon Foundation, UJFP

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The trial of Ameer Makhoul, General Director of Ittijah: The Union of Arab Community-Based Associations, an NGO with ECOSOC-UN status, and one of the leaders of the movement for the rights of Palestinian citizens in Israel, was held on 20 December at the District Court of Haifa.

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After his arrest on 6 May, Ameer Makhoul was accused of aiding the enemy in time of war, conspiracy and aggravated espionage. For this, Ameer Makhoul risked life imprisonment.


Despite examining a dozen hard drives and more than 30,000 telephone conversations, it was only  on the basis of a confession obtained after 12 days spent in solitary confinement and during an interrogation where he underwent physical pressures, Ameer Makhoul signed on 27 October  a plea bargain with Israeli prosecutors. According to the agreement, Makhoul pled guilty to some of the charges and agreed to a prison sentence of  7 to 10 years.

Of course, Ameer Makhoul has denied all charges against him.


Orna Kohn from Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and one of Makhoul’s lawyers, said that “Israeli law defines very broadly the so-called security offenses, which criminalizes behavior or action that no one would expect to see included in a clause of the Criminal Code. The result is that it is very easy for the general attorney to convince a court that a person is guilty. “


“[With] those kinds of accusations, especially what we call being in contact with an enemy agent ‘, the burden of proof is shifted,” she added. “Thus, it is the accused who must convince the court that he had no intention of endangering the state security. Once someone is accused of this, it is almost impossible to prove he is not guilty. “

According to Nadim Nashif, Director of Baladna, Association for Arab Youth, an organization for development and capacity building for young Palestinians in Israel, “the repression of Ameer Makhoul and other leaders of Palestinian civil society highlights the Israeli policy that aims to intimidate Palestinians living inside Israel.”


“I think the key message is that there is a limit to our freedom to campaign and if we, activists and people in NGOs or NGOs themselves, go beyond these lines, then we will be punished or we will stop. “


In this context it is important to show solidarity and support to Ameer Makhoul, a political prisoner of conscience.

Ameer Makhoul is not only entitled to a fair trial but in view of the conditions contrary to standards applied by the rule of law, under which the charges have been obtained, they must be abandoned.

There are, in addition to Ameer, between 20 and 30 Palestinian citizens of Israel who are held in Israeli jails as political prisoners, not to mention 7,000 other Palestinian political prisoners from the Occupied Palestinian Territory.


Mireille Fanon-Mendès-France, President of the Frantz Fanon Foundation, member of the International Council of World Social Forums  and member of the French Jewish Union for Peace (UFJP),  testified in favor of Ameer Makhoul in the hearing.


The French Jewish Union for Peace is very concerned about the offensive against the Palestinians in Israel that is part of a policy led by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who advocated during the election campaign mass expulsion (transfer) of the Palestinian minority in Israel, and who demands allegiance to the Jewish state as a condition of citizenship for Palestinians.  The UJFP is totally supportive of the struggle of Ameer Makhool and of Ittijah for the rights of Palestinian citizens in Israel and those of the Palestinian people in general. Naturally, the UJFP decided to be present at the trial, in an act of solidarity with Ameer and lttijah

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The Frantz Fanon Foundation and UJFP call on all human rights defenders to intervene for the immediate release of Ameer and for that of all Palestinian political prisoners.

Haifa-Paris, 20 December 2010

via Release Ameer Makhoul, All Palestinian Political Prisoners!.

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