Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel

by Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
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Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel
Protect the Protest in Palestine & Israel

Project Report | Jun 25, 2024
Anti-war protestors released after months in Israeli detention

By Ranna Khalil | Researcher

Arrest during Umm Al-Fahem protest, 19 Oct 2023
Arrest during Umm Al-Fahem protest, 19 Oct 2023

Dear Friends,

Since the outbreak of the War on 7 October 2023, the Israeli police have initiated an unprecedented number of unlawful arrests and detentions of Palestinian citizens of Israel (PCI). The state's actions, aimed at suppressing their freedom of speech and Palestinian identity, have targeted PCI protesting on the streets or online, primarily in support of Palestinian civilians – facing mass killing, injury, starvation, property destruction and more by the Israeli military - in Gaza.

One of the most serious protest cases that Adalah is dealing with concerns that of A.K. and M.J. On 19 October 2023, the police arrested 11 PCI protestors, including four minors, from the Arab town of Umm Al-Fahem during a demonstration against the Israeli war on Gaza. The police forcefully dispersed the protest, reportedly using rubber bullets and stun grenades. Within the next three days, following legal representation by Adalah and volunteer lawyers, the courts released all the detainees except for two human rights defenders, A.K., who is also a well-known lawyer, and M.J.

On 6 November 2023, the state prosecutor indicted A.K. and M.J. – the organizers of the protest - for "incitement to terrorism" and “identifying with a terrorist organization” under Israel’s 2016 Counter-Terrorism Law, requesting their detention without bond until the conclusion of proceedings. The state initiated these charges solely based on their participation in the protest and the slogans they chanted, which have been commonly used during PCI demonstrations for decades.

On 11 January 2024, the Haifa Magistrate's Court decided to release A.K. to house arrest, acknowledging his positive role as a social activist in his community. "[He had been a] social activist, in the positive sense of the term, in his city, involved in efforts to reduce violence in Arab society, working with youth, and had not been involved in any criminal events”, the Magistrate's Court ruled. However, the Israeli prosecution appealed to the Haifa District Court, which, on 15 January 2024, overturned the lower court’s decision and ruled to detain A.K. until the conclusion of all proceedings. A.K.'s legal team, consisting of Adalah and a private attorney from the Human Rights Defenders Fund, appealed this decision to the Israeli Supreme Court (SCT). The legal team argued int the appeal that the District Court based its decision on irrelevant considerations and erred in ascribing ideological motivations to A.K's actions, as the slogans fall under the freedom of expression, and do not amount to criminal incitement. On 7 February 2024, the SCT overturned the District Court's decision, ordering the release of A.K. after three and a half months of detention.

M.J. was released after eight months in prison. On 16 June 2024, the Haifa District Court rejected the state prosecution's appeal against the Magistrates' Court decision to release him to house arrest with conditions, in Zalafa, an Arab village near his hometown of Umm Al-Fahem. The Magistrate's Court's decision followed a request submitted by Adalah to reconsider its earlier decision to detain M.J until the end of the proceedings. The Magistrate's Court acknowledged the long and harsh conditions of his imprisonment and noted that his time served was close to the expected sentence for such cases, contrary to the prosecution's claims that a harsher sentence would be imposed in this case.

Following their indictment, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) held A.K. and M.J. in Israeli detention facilities under extremely dire conditions. The already poor conditions for thousands of Palestinian prisoners held in security wings of Israeli prisons have deteriorated alarmingly since the start of the war. Palestinian prisoners face severe overcrowding, brutal treatment by guards, denial of family visits, prolonged delays for lawyer visits, and inadequate food and access to hygiene items. A.K. also reported being verbally abused and witnessed other prisoners being physically abused by the guards.

A.K and M.J.’s arrests for protest activities, along with their prolonged detention and criminal indictment under the Counter-Terrorism Law, violate their rights and pose a significant threat to free speech and peaceful assembly for all Palestinians in Israel. The authorities aim to deter all dissent by creating such a chilling effect on speech among the broader Palestinian population in Israel. The state’s policy of requesting detention until the conclusion of legal proceedings is designed to act as a harsh deterrent for any PCI who considers protesting against the War.

Adalah continues to represent A.K. and M.J.

Thank you for your continued support for Adalah’s work at this very critical time.

The Adalah team.

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Feb 26, 2024
Adalah fights police ban on Palestinian anti-war protests

By Ranna Khalil | Researcher

Oct 27, 2023
Israeli Police Impose Sweeping Ban on Protests against Offensive on Gaza

By Ranna Khalil | Researcher

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Project Leader:
Ranna Khalil
Haifa , Haifa Israel
$93,908 raised of $130,000 goal
 
1,161 donations
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