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ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES/PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: Release teenage Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi

22 Jan 2018
[International Secretariat]
Region: ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES/PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
Topic:

Israeli authorities must release a 16-year-old Palestinian activist who could face up to 10 years in prison over an altercation with Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank last month, Amnesty International said as she appeared in court today.

Ahed Tamimi will go before Ofer military court in the occupied West Bank accused of aggravated assault and 11 other charges after a video showing her shoving, slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers in her home village of Nabi Saleh on 15 December went viral on Facebook.

“Nothing that Ahed Tamimi has done can justify the continuing detention of a 16-year-old girl. The Israeli authorities must release her without delay. In capturing an unarmed teenage girl’s assault on two armed soldiers wearing protective gear, the footage of this incident shows that she posed no actual threat and that her punishment is blatantly disproportionate,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

Ahed Tamimi was arrested on 19 December Ahed confronted the soldiers amid a demonstration in Nabi Saleh against US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The incident took place on the same day that Ahed’s cousin, 15-year-old Mohammad Tamimi, was hit in the head at close range by a rubber bullet fired by an Israeli soldier and suffered seriouse ingery.

The video shows that the soldiers, who were standing on the edge of the family’s walled front yard and armed with assault rifles, were able to lightly swat away Ahed’s slaps and kicks.

However, the clip outraged many Israelis, with Education Minister Naftali Bennett telling Army Radio the three women “should finish their lives in prison”.

On 1 January, Ahed and Nariman were both charged with aggravated assault of soldiers and preventing soldiers from carrying out their duties.

Ahed now faces a total of 12 charges, also including incitement on social media and offences related to five other altercations with Israeli soldiers she is alleged to have taken part in over the past two years.

“It would be an unconscionable travesty of justice if Ahed Tamini’s act of defiance in the face of relentless oppression earns her a long prison sentence after a trial in a military court that does not ensure basic fair trial standards.”

The Israeli army prosecutes hundreds of Palestinian children in juvenile military courts every year. There are currently some 350 Palestinian children in Israeli prisons and detention centres, according to local human rights organizations.

Ahed’s lawyer said she has faced several long and aggressive interrogation sessions, sometimes during the night, and has received threats against family members by her interrogators.

15 January 2018
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE

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