Persecution of Wadi Hilweh Information Center director Jawad Siyam continues

Monday, 10 January, 2011 | 07:53

Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) — The Israeli crackdown on Palestinian community organizers in Silwan continues, as Wadi Hilweh Information Center director Jawad Siyam will stand trial once again in the Jerusalem Magistrates Court today. Israeli police have upped the stakes in their attempts to slap Mr. Siyam with a slanderous assault charge: they have requested from the judge nothing less than a sentence of one and a half years house arrest, to be served outside his own home and village of Silwan, East Jerusalem.

Mr. Siyam was released by the Jerusalem Magistrates Court just three days ago, 7 January, when the court ruled the prosecution’s evidence entirely insubstantial to lodge such a claim against him. The same day Mr. Siyam received a phone call from Israeli police to inform him that the “investigation” would continue unabated.

There is no doubt as to the political nature of the Jerusalem police’s case against Mr. Siyam. As one of the founders of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center and adjoining Madaa Creative Center, Mr. Siyam has served his community of Wadi Hilweh as a pillar of strength and a shining example of non-violent resistance through culture and community-building in action. He has managed to make his voice heard when speaking out against the aggressive expansionism of the Israeli settler enterprise in Silwan and encourage many young Palestinians of Silwan to embrace their cultural identity and heritage in the village as a means of resistance.

It is his peaceful activism and community outreach that has lead him to be branded a threat by the Israeli state, who recognize the ability of activists such as Mr. Siyam, whose principles forbid resorting to violence, to deligitimize and reveal the inherently violent and discriminatory practices of Israel in East Jerusalem for what they are.

Israel’s greatest weapon against the Palestinians of Jerusalem is not its guns, tear gas, night raids, checkpoints or formidable army. It is its ability to silence dissent and cover its trail of oppression. Jawad Siyam will stand trial today at 10am in the Jerusalem Magistrates Court. If the eyes of the world are watching, another human rights activist may not be silenced.

Persecution of Wadi Hilweh Information Center director Jawad Siyam continues « Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan, Jerusalem.

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