Nonviolent Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro is facing 18 charges in Israeli military court. The charges, dating from between 2010 and 2016, were dredged up in an attempt to punish Issa for effectively advocating for Palestinian human rights in the heavily occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Although none of the 18 charges against Issa is serious in itself (e.g. organizing illegal demonstrations, entering a closed military zone, incitement) the UN and Issa's attorney have already expressed concern that with the sheer number of charges and a military court trial, Issa could be sentenced for 1-3 years. All for nonviolent human rights work! Issa's trial begins on September 25 and it is feared that he could be taken into custody on that date.
Over the years Issa has been arrested, detained, threatened and beaten numerous times. Almost daily he receives death threats from Israeli soldiers and settlers. In 2013, a group of United Nations independent human rights experts, including UN Special Rapporteur Richard Faulk, warned that “Israel must stop harassment, intimidation and abusive treatment of rights defender Issa Amro."
CODEPINK has long supported Issa's work, including joining with him and his organization, Youth Against Settlements, on their annual Open Shuhada Street campaign. Tomorrow, September 20th at 9am PT / 12 ET, our own Ariel Gold will be joining Jewish Voice for Peace for a Facebook Live interview with Issa. Go to Jewish Voice for Peace's Facebook page tomorrow to watch. Now, as Issa is being unfairly targeted and facing imprisonment, it is important that we send a message to Secretary Kerry that he must act swiftly to protect Issa Amro.
Toward justice, and safety for all.
Alli, Ariel, Nancy K. and the entire CODEPINK team