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.
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!
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