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Aug-30-2011 15:50printcomments

Crime and Punishment

Due to cruel and unnecessary arrests The Freedom Theatre has hired a lawyer to represent its members.

Freedom Theatre in Jenin, Occupied Palestine
Photo: bikyamasr.com

(JENIN, Occupied Palestine) - An appeal for moral and financial support following a new wave of harassments against The Freedom Theatre by the Israeli army

The Freedom Theatre in Jenin refugee camp was attacked by the Israeli army on the 27th July. Two of its members, Adnan Naghnaghiye and Bilal Saadi were taken. On the 22nd of August they were released from Israeli custody. They had been illegally incarcerated for almost one month in a prison inside Israel and were finally released after no evidence could be brought against them.

They were treated in an inhumane way and their basic human rights were violated from the second the Israeli army took them from their homes. The acting student Rami Hwayel, who faced a similar course of action, is expected to be released in a few days. Instead a colleague of Rami at the theatre school, Momeen Syatat has been informed that he needs to hand himself in to the Israeli army on the 1st of September.

The outcome of the interrogations confirms what we have claimed right from the start – these people are not suspects and could have been questioned without being arrested at all, not to mention the inhumane treatment they suffered. They all cooperated in giving any information they had, to assist in finding the actual killer.

Unfortunately, this is no time for rejoicing. Mohammed Eisht Naghnaghiye, the brother of Adnan and security guard at The Freedom Theatre, was taken by the Israeli army on the 22nd August and yesterday received a 15 day extension of his arrest. Once again the army came in the night and they left Eisht's house in disarray and havoc. Furniture was thrown to the floor and broken, and there was even dog excrement on the floor. The army also took another three residents of the camp on the same night.

Two technicians at The Freedom Theatre, Mohammed Saadi, 21 years old and Ahmad Matahen, 20 years old, have been told to hand themselves in at the Salem military base outside of Jenin. All of us at the theatre want more than anything the murderer of Juliano Mer Khamis to be brought to justice, and therefore Mohammed and Ahmad have decided to obey the order and contribute with any information that might be useful. However this is on condition that they are treated in accordance with rule of law.

To walk into the arms of the Israeli security service quite often means disappearing from the surface of the earth, never knowing when you will come back and knowing that you are most certainly facing harsh treatment. We demand that Mohammed, Ahmad, Momeen and Eisht be treated no worse and no better than any Israeli citizen brought in to participate in a civil criminal investigation. Their legal rights, as stipulated by international law, must be honoured.

Mohammed and Ahmad will only come to the Salem military base if their lawyer is allowed to accompany them to the police and see them right before and after interrogation and that they will not be arrested and not be denied access to their lawyer as has been done in the previous cases..This demand has been relayed to the Israeli security and we are awaiting their answer.

Due to these cruel and unnecessary arrests The Freedom Theatre has hired a lawyer to represent its members. The fee has risen dramatically and is now around 5000 EUR. We fear that it may increase further as the cycle of Israeli arrests does not seem to end.

The Freedom Theatre is unable to allocate this money from our project funding and the families of the innocent arrestees are also unable to cover the fees. We therefore ask our friends and supporters around the world to contribute to the legal costs. This also enables us to a larger extent to expose the discriminatory legal system applied to the Palestinians. You may make your donation here*. Make sure to mark your donation with "Legal".

We would like to emphasize once more that all members of The Freedom Theatre are fully assisting the investigation of the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis. We demand to be treated accordingly, not as suspects. There is clearly no evidence against any member of the theatre, yet the Israeli army have gravely maltreated several of our members and violated their human rights.

on behalf of The Freedom Theatre
Jacob Gough, acting general manager


Articles regarding the death of Juliano Mer Khamis:

April-05-2011: Losing Juliano - Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh Salem-News.com

April-04-2011: Filmmaker Juliano Mer-Khamis was Murdered Today in Jenin - Gilad Atzmon Salem-News.com

Apr-17-2011 : Who is Targeting and Killing Palestinian Supporters? - Nahida Izzat Salem-News.com

Please watch this most important film, produced by Juliano, about the Freedom Theatre; you will never forget it:

Watch Mer-Khamis' monumental Arna's Children:

Produced by Juliano Mer-Khamis www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6EXrA3UFwM

Americans for a Stronger Israel

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