Stephen Lendman

More About: Israel - Palestine

Criticize Abbas, Go to Jail

Criticize Abbas, Go to Jail

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)

Issa Amro is a prominent Palestinian human rights activist - co-founder of Youths Against Settlements, a spokesman for popular nonviolent resistance against illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.

In 2010, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights declared him the "human rights defender of the year in Palestine."

He currently faces multiple Israeli charges for actively supporting Palestinian rights, including participating in an earlier peaceful protest. He's been harassed and arrested numerous times.

Earlier he said "I became convinced that (nonviolence) was the best strategy for community resistance. Furthermore, non-violence meant that there was a role for every Palestinian…My campaigning, my whole philosophy, everything I do now, is underpinned by these ideas."

On Monday, Palestinian security forces arrested him a day after he called for illegitimate Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to resign, along with criticizing his arrest of Ayman Qawashmeh, director of the Hebron-based Manbar al-Hurriya radio station, stifling press freedom.

Last week, its offices were raided and closed by Israeli soldiers. Hurriya criticized Abbas for failing to protect Palestinian rights, calling for him to resign.

In June, the Israeli created and controlled Palestinian Authority adopted a new Electronic Crimes decree, aimed at silencing dissent, especially on social media. Human rights activists called it the most draconian law in PA history.

It imposes imprisonment and fines for truth-telling on vital issues. Palestinian journalists were detained straightaway after adoption.

According to a Monday Youths Against Settlements press release, Amro said the following after his lawless arrest and detention:

"All my writings on social media are part of the freedom of opinion and expression stipulated by the Palestinian Basic Law and are protected by all international laws and conventions." 

"My arrest will not affect my defense of human rights and the rights of journalists to exercise their work freely and without pressure from the government."

In late June, 32 US congressional members urged Rex Tillerson to intervene with Israel on behalf of Amro's rights.

They urged all charges against him be dropped - an initiative sponsored by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Code Pink, Jewish Voices for Peace, and American Muslims for Palestine.

Palestinians are nearly always guilty by accusation, justice virtually always rule out.

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