Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

Mission: Adalah ("Justice" in Arabic) is an independent human rights organization and legal center. Established in November 1996, it works to promote and defend the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, 1.2 million people, or 20% of the population, as well as Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).
Sep 14, 2016

Freedom for Shaymaa and Sujood!

Shaymaa and Sujood after winning their case
Shaymaa and Sujood after winning their case

Freedom for Shaymaa and Sujood!

Shaymaa and Sujood are two teenagers (minors under the law) who were arrested in October 2015 for demonstrating against police violence against Palestinians. We represented the two young women during their initial detention and in court hearings; a private lawyer later represented them in the criminal cases brought against them.

We are very glad to share that Shaymaa and Sujood were both cleared of all the charges filed against them.  Following their arrests and detention, we documented and widely publicized the harsh treatment of the minors in custody, and all of the illegal practices pursued by the police and often sanctioned by the courts in these protest cases. This was not lost on the judge at their trial, who dismissed the charges and had harsh words for the police about their treatment of the two girls during their arrest.

Fundraising Update

We’ve raised US$7,356 from 45 individual donors and US$10,000 from an institutional donor to protect the protest. A big thanks to all our donors who are helping to protect the right to protest and especially to our recurring donors for their continuous support.

Worrying legal developments concerning free expression

Recently, the Knesset enacted two new laws that are severely damaging to free expression. The ‘Anti-Terror Law’ and the ‘Expulsion Law’ both impose harsh restrictions on individuals from freely exercising their fundamental right to free expression.

The ‘Anti-Terror’ Law: The new law, approved on 15 June 2016 by the Israeli parliament, is designed to further suppress the political activities of individuals in support of Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The law allows for the widespread use of ‘secret evidence’ by the state prosecution and establishes new criminal offenses such as public expressions of support or empathy for terror organizations.

With a very wide definition of “terror”, Adalah expects that a broad range of political speech – particularly of Palestinian citizens of Israel - will be criminalized. As we’ve stated, “[The new law] paints the political activities and expression of Arabs in Israel – including those of a social, humanitarian and charitable nature – with a hostile and war-like façade, reclassifying them as acts of terror”.

You may read our press release against the law, here.

Award-winning investigative journalist, Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept recently published an article on how Facebook was cooperating with the Israeli government to determine what should be censored. Read the piece here

Adalah’s Annual Law Students’ Camp - "50 years of '67 Occupation and the Silencing of Dissent”

We’ve been busy preparing for our 11th Annual Law Students’ Camp, which will be held over 3 days from 6-8 October 2016. The conference will bring together Palestinian Arab law students from Israel as well as many law students in the OPT to discuss key human rights issues. This year’s event, which will take place in Beit Jala, will include a focus on freedom of expression. Although human rights issues play a significant role in the lives of Palestinian students, they are sparingly discussed in Israeli law schools.

We’re organizing a series of workshops on free expression for the students discussions on the ‘Anti-Terror Law’ (see above), state-imposed economic sanctions on free expression, the BDS movement and the right to boycott, and restrictions on free expression in the media, including on Facebook and other social media.

Thanks to all who voted in Global Giving’s Photo Contest

We were shortlisted for Global Giving’s 2016 Photo Contest as a finalist in the Hope category. See the photo below. Thanks to all those who voted for us – all 275 of you! We finished 4th in our category. Congratulations to the winner of the competition, ‘Isha Vidhya’ who provides quality education to rural children in India.

Your vote was a vote of confidence for our work. Thanks for your support! 

Israeli police arrest Palestinian protester (2012)
Israeli police arrest Palestinian protester (2012)
Jul 13, 2016

Turning up the heat in #Um_AlHiran. But we remain resilient.

Photo 1: Bulldozers (credit: Jenny Nyman)
Photo 1: Bulldozers (credit: Jenny Nyman)

Description of photo 1: The construction site for Hiran is located on a hill overlooking Umm al-Hiran (credit: Middle East Eye /Jenny Nyman)

The Arab Bedouin villages of Atir-Umm al-Hiran have come under renewed threat of demolition and eviction over the past few days.

1. The authorities threatened to enter Umm al-Hiran to begin construction work for the court-sanctioned Israeli Jewish village of Hiran

On Saturday, 9 July 2016, Raed A., one of the village leaders of Umm al-Hiran, received a call from the authorities, informing that they planned to enter the village on Sunday. The authorities stated that they intended to begin construction work on Hiran, on Umm al-Hiran’s lands.

Adalah was in contact with Raed and other villagers throughout the day. Although the authorities did not carry out the threated demolition and eviction, the danger nevertheless remains very much alive, and the villagers remain on edge. Adalah’s lawyers continue to provide legal consultation and advice to the leaders of Umm al-Hiran regarding their next steps, particularly during this tense period.  

2.Tour for Ha’aretz editors and senior journalists in April 2016

Adalah organized a private tour for senior journalists and editors from Ha’aretz, the leading liberal Israeli newspaper, to give them an up-to-date, intimate portrait of Atir-Umm al-Hiran. We also visited the village of al-‘Araqib, a Palestinian Bedouin village that has been demolished 100 times over the past few years, to meet with the villagers there.

We believe that it is crucial to keep the issue of Atir-Umm al-Hiran on the public agenda through the media. We especially engage editors because they play a significant role in determining the stories that make the cut, in framing how those stories are told, and in taking bold positions critical of Israeli government policies.

We wish to thank you again for your kind support and encouragement over the past quarter.  Adalah and the people of Atir-Umm al-Hiran need your help to continue to do our crucial work, especially at this time of heightened tension. 

In solidarity,
Rina Rosenberg (Jabareen)
Director of International Advocacy, Adalah

Description of photo 2: Sign reads 'Construction Site - Entry Forbidden', with Umm al-Hiran seen in the background. This construction site for the new Israeli Jewish town of Hiran (credit: Middle East Eye/Jenny Nyman). According to their latest threat, the Israeli authorities intend to pave a dirt road within the boundary of Umm al-Hiran to facilitate construction work for Hiran there.

Photo 2: "Construction Site - Entry Forbidden"
Photo 2: "Construction Site - Entry Forbidden"
Jun 2, 2016

We will not be Silent (Protect the Protest update)

Launch of #WeWillNotBeSilent at Al-Khashabi - 4/16
Launch of #WeWillNotBeSilent at Al-Khashabi - 4/16

1. Fundraising Update

To date from the launch of the campaign in December 2015, we raised US$ 6,230 from individual donors and US$10,000 from an institutional donor to protect the right of Palestinians to protest against institutionalized discrimination and the Occupation, and to mobilize for freedom and justice. Thanks to all of the individual donors for their generosity, particularly those who made recurring (monthly) commitments!

2. An update on Anas, 'the Facebook protestor'

As you know, we are representing Anas K., the 19-year old Palestinian citizen of Israel, in a criminal case against him for his status updates on Facebook. Anas was arrested and then placed under house arrest for his Facebook posts that allegedly constituted “incitement to violence and terrorism”. However, we’re pleased to inform you that Anas received good news last month!

On 17 April 2016, following a motion filed by  Adalah to the court, Anas’ house arrest was partially lifted so that it will only apply at night-time. This change of conditions will allow him to work and to continue to take music lessons to play the buzuq, the long-necked string instrument.

Anas wanted to share the following message with you for enabling this small, but very meaningful victory: “It’s a beautiful feeling to live life in freedom. Now I can exercise my rights, to both express and to move without restriction. Finally! All the same, I still await complete freedom”.

3. An update on Shaymaa and Sujood, detained for protesting

In October 2015, we represented (with other volunteer lawyers whose presence we coordinated in court) the young female teenagers, Shaymaa and Sujood from Nazareth, who were arrested following their participation in a demonstration against violence. Shaymaa and Sujood were both placed under house arrest following their detention, and criminal charges were filed against them. While the criminal cases are still ongoing, the good news is that they are no longer under house arrest. While the teenagers are currently being represented by private lawyers, they remain active with Adalah in speaking out to help other young people who are detained for exercising their right to voice their dissent to injustice.

 4. #WeWillNotBeSilent: a strong follow-up to #ProtecttheProtest

Adalah, together with Baladna – Association for Arab Youth and 7amleh, started a new project at the end of 2015 that expands the #ProtecttheProtest campaign. Given the traction Adalah created with #ProtecttheProtest and the urgency to protect the right to free expression including freedom of assembly, freedom of association and the right to protest, our additional joint initiatives with Baladna and 7amleh include:

  1. To educate and empower up to 1,600 Arab-Palestinian youth to protect their FOE rights;
  2. To train 20 young Arab human rights lawyers and 15 Arab journalists in FOE rights issues to engage in outreach to the Arab-Palestinian youth, and to write about these issues in media and social media outlets;  
  3. To defend Arab-Palestinian youth in FOE rights violations cases via direct legal representation

#WeWillNotBeSilent is a strong follow-up to our #ProtecttheProtest campaign and will run throughout 2016 and 2017.

Accordingly, you can expect in your PtP updates information on how we are using a combination of training and outreach, legal representation, media advocacy and capacity-building in this new stage of expandedwork with human rights lawyers, youth and journalists to protect the protest and free expression.

Check out our online portal displaying the personal stories of those whom the Israeli authorities have attempted to silence, but with little success:

http://www.7amleh.org/WeWillNotBeSilent/

Can you spot Sujood, Shaymaa and Anas?

Mohammad Badarneh, Visual Director of #WeWillNotBeSilent, explains his vision for the campaign, “We look for the moments rooted in our memories, without underestimating the strength and defiance of those who stand against Israeli oppression, nor underestimating their human frailty”.

Mohammad Badarneh, Visual Dir. #WeWillNotBeSilent
Mohammad Badarneh, Visual Dir. #WeWillNotBeSilent
2 day workshop for young HR lawyers, 2/16
2 day workshop for young HR lawyers, 2/16
 
   

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