Palestinian activist Jamal Juma’ freed

Amnesty International has welcomed the release of Palestinian human rights activist Jamal Juma’, who was detained by the Israeli military late last year.

Jamal Juma’ was arrested in December 2009, joining fellow activists Abdallah Abu Rahma and Mohammed Othman in detention, following a series of protests against the construction of the fence/wall in the West Bank.

Amnesty International last week called for the three men to be released unless they were brought before a fair trial. Jamal Juma’ was released on Tuesday evening but Abdallah Abu Rahma and Mohammed Othman remain in detention.

“Without international pressure I would not be out today,” Jamal Juma’ told Amnesty International on Wednesday.

“You can tell that there is pressure from abroad from how the guards behave with you inside. Yesterday I was released without charge and I thank everybody for their efforts and support.

“However, many others are still in detention and there are more arrests of activists every day. The authorities must stop this harassment.”

Jamal Juma’, Abdallah Abu Rahma and Mohammed Othman have been campaigning against the fence/wall for years by raising awareness about its negative impact on Palestinians, organizing grassroots opposition and peacefully demonstrating against its construction.

The three have repeatedly expressed their commitment to the principle of non-violence and Amnesty International is unaware of any credible evidence that they have used or advocated violence.

Amnesty International is concerned that Abdallah Abu Rahma and Mohammed Othman are being detained solely on account of legitimately exercising their right to freedom of expression in opposing the Israeli fence/wall.

If this is the case, they are prisoners of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally. Otherwise they should be brought to trial on recognizable criminal charges and in full conformity with international fair trial standards.

                                      Call on Israel to release the two remaining activists