On September 22, Mohammad Othman was arrested and detained by Israeli soldiers on the Allenby Bridge Crossing, the border from Jordan to Palestine. He was returning from a trip to Norway.
Mohammad, 33 years old, has dedicated the last ten years of his life to the defense of Palestinian human rights. His village, Jayyous, has lost most of its land to the Wall and the settlements. He has worked constantly to let the world know about the Israeli crimes against his people and has developed relations of international solidarity.
It is not the first time Palestinian human rights defenders have been arrested after trips abroad. Recently Muhammad Srour, an eyewitness to the killing of Arafat Khawaje, 22, and 20-year-old Mohammed Khawaje, who were both shot on a Gaza solidarity demonstration in Ni’lin on 28th December testified in front of the UN Fact Finding Mission on Gaza and, in a clear act of reprisal, he was arrested on his way back. This strategy of arrests is part of the overall policy of isolation of the Palestinian people behind checkpoints, walls and razor wire.
We call on international solidarity and human rights organizations to act immediately to bring attention to this case and advocate for the release of Mohammad Othman by:
* Encourage others to join this campaign through petitions, demonstrations and / or letter writing / phone calling. Please provide them with contact information and details;
* Urge your representatives at consular offices in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem/Ramallah to demand the immediate release of Mohammad Othman. (Click here for consular contacts)
* Let the Israeli Embassy in your country know that you are campaigning for Mohammad’s release and for a just and lasting peace based on international law. (Click here to find the Israeli Embassy in your country)
* Bring the case of Palestine’s first BDS prisoner of conscience to the attention of local and national media outlets;
Mohammad Othman, however, represents only one of the 11,000 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons. More than 800 are being held in “administrative detention”, meaning that they are imprisoned (indefinitely) without charge. International solidarity has to hold Israel accountable and achieve an end to the large scale repression and mass imprisonment of Palestinians as part of their efforts to bring about an end to the occupation and the restoration of Palestinian rights.