Friday, February 24, 2012

[ePalestine] My friend Walid Abu Rass..update from Israeli High Court hearing

Dear friends,

You may recall my article about my friend Walid Abu Rass  who was arrested by Israel and placed under 6-month administrative detention. You may also remember reading his daughter's  passage about her visit to the prison.

By the way, Israeli peace activist/historian Uri Avnery wrote  today about this infamous process of administrative detention.

Many of you acted to free Walid and I'm pleased to report that we achieved partial progress. Under military occupation all progress is partial!

After losing his appeal, which was a joke given the judge is a military judge from the occupation forces, he took his case to the only other court that Israel, the occupying power, respects (and even that, not always), the Israeli High Court.

I just heard from Walid's wife and the organization legally representing him, Addameer . Walid's wife attended the High Court hearing. It too was a joke. 

At the appeal last month the state claimed that Walid was a PFLP operative. The PFLP is a left-wing, political part of the PLO, the same PLO that Israel signed the Oslo Accords with. Now, at the High Court hearing the state presented to the 3 judges a letter saying he was an Islamic Jihad operative. The Islamic Jihad is a Palestinian Islamic party not part of the PLO. Even the judges were embarrassed and questioned the state prosecutor about how the same person can be viewed so differently. After the some back-and-forth between the state and the judges, the state withdraw the latter submission.   

Walid was not even present in the courtroom! When Walid's attorney inquired about the absence of his client, the judges told the attorney if he wanted him to be in the courtroom they would need to postpone the hearing. An old game to buy time until the administration detention order expires. Walid's attorney and wife agreed to continue without Walid's presence.

After hearing the case, Walid's wife and attorney were asked to step out of the courtroom. Thirty minutes later, after the judges deliberated, they returned and were told that the court decided to reduce Walid's detention time by two months, which gives him a new release date of March 22. The judges added that this would be the release date unless concrete evidence is presented by the state. It's all so sick. He should have been released today! How can a court of "law" keep a person imprisoned AFTER deliberating that the state's case was flawed to the point of accepting to release the detainee!

I just wanted to let everyone know where things stand. Walid is in high spirits. Walid's two girls are looking forward to see their dad soon. Walid's wife is correctly worried that the administration order may get renewed, which happens frequently.


Insanity rules military occupation,


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