Information Center press conference discusses arrest of its director Jawad Siyam and Israeli crackdown on activists

Friday, 14 January, 2011 | 20:31 |

Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan, Jerusalem


Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) — A press conference was held by the Wadi Hilweh Information Center today to discuss the recent Israeli campaign against Palestinian activists of Silwan, which has seen the arrest of several prominent community figures, dubious charges laid against them and pressure put on their families.

The Center denounced the armed raid to arrest its director and co-founder Jawad Siyam on 4 January, and presented Siyam with a commemorative plaque in acknowledgement of his invaluable contributions to the community. Since the Center’s founding in 2009 Siyam has used it as a vehicle for the empowerment of countless young Palestinians and encouraging them to embrace their identity and culture.

Public relations co-ordinator Muna Hasan read a letter on behalf of the Center’s staff expressing their deep appreciation for Siyam’s inspiring efforts and their strong commitment to the Center. Hasan stated that the Center had provided its staff with the means of strengthening Palestinian identity in the the face of hardship, through the documentation of human rights violations in their village and to raise awareness of its problems.

Students of the Center’s educational and cultural programs read a letter of thanks to Siyam in honor of his community service and enrichment of their childhoods.

Center spokespeople also addressed unscrupulous methods employed by Israeli authorities in their crackdown on Palestinian political activity in Silwan, including the targeting of activists’ families. Siyam’s arrest and subsequent investigation has been made more painful by the simultaneous investigation of his 15 year old nephew on highly questionable charges. Al-Bustan Popular Committee member Fakhri Abu Diab and his family have also been singled out for investigation by authorities, including his wife and son, the latter of whom was place under arrest.

Amongst those targeted is also Baten al-Hawa activist Zuhair Rajaby, who was arrested by Israeli forces during clashes on 8 January in the same neighborhood, and is now serving a house arrest sentence outside his home, in Beit Hanina.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center and the popular committees of Silwan recently submitted a letter to EU consuls requesting protection from this Israeli campaign of intimidation, which denies citizens their basic human rights of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. The letter was issued as EU consuls submitted an official report to the EU making the bold statement that East Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the Palestinian state.





Information Center press conference discusses arrest of its director Jawad Siyam and Israeli crackdown on activists « Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan, Jerusalem.

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