Civil society organizations and peaceful activists continue to be under attack, and their leaders continue to be thrown in prison without charges. This is exactly what happened to Salah Khawaja, a prominent human rights organizer who works with Grassroots International’s partner, the Stop the Wall Campaign.
Salah is a 46-year-old human rights defender who was arrested in the middle of the night on October 26, 2016, and remains in prison to this day. He comes from the village of Nil’in, where he began to organize for his community and their land through our partner Stop the Wall. Beyond being jailed for over three and a half months he has also suffered from constant interrogations, including psychological and physical mistreatment.
On December 28, 2016, Salah was given a hearing where his defense dismantled the trumped up charges against him. Rather than release him, the Israeli military then presented a « secret file » in order to have grounds to ask for administrative detention – arbitrary detention by the state without trial or cause for extended periods of time. Salah remains in prison without another hearing or a judgement of his case.
The United Nations have repeatedly called for an end to the use of administrative detention and five UN Special Rapporteurs have raised Salah Khawaja’s case in a joint statement against Israeli repression of Palestinian human rights defenders.
We need you to let the Israeli Minister of Justice and the US Human Rights Commission know that the world condemns the ongoing repression of Palestinian human rights defenders and Israel’s use of illegal practices, including the use of administrative detentions and « secret files. »
Thank you for taking action and speaking out for Salah. Your solidarity is most appreciated at this time.