Abnaa elBalad Press Update, February 15, 2004
Monday, February 16th, 2004
Haifa district court rejected appeals
On Wednesday, 11/2, the Haifa district court rejected an appeal against the continued detention of Abnaa elBalad secretary general Comrade Muhammad Kana`ane, his brother Husam and Sahar `Abdu, editorial secretary of the elJeel elJadeed magazine. Lawyer Waqim Waqim from Abnaa elBalad and Orna Cohen and Abir Abu-Baker from `Adala appeared in the court, but were prevented from seeing the detainees or the charges against them. About 50 supporters crowded beyond the courts closed doors, after failing the guards` attempt to prevent all Abnaa elBalad supporters from entering the Haifa court compound. Earlier the same court rejected another appeal against the police decree that prevents the detainees from meeting a lawyer.
At 2:30 Thursday morning, 12/2, a big police force entered the house of Abnaa elBalad comrade Yusuf Abu-`Ali in the Gallilee town of Sakhnin, searched and messed the house and arrested Yusuf. Later on Thursday Yusuf was brought before the Acre court, prevented from meeting his lawyers, and his detention was prolonged for 7 days on the basis of secret evidence. Before that, security guards chase Yusuf`s supporters from the court building and even from the nearby street where they suspected Yusuf may see the crowd that came to strengthen his spirit while he will be carried way.
Abnaa elBalad sources said the Yusuf, 39 years old, suffers from several health problems, including diabetes, heart and back problems, and is not fit to stay in the harsh conditions of Israel`s `Shabak` interrogation dungeons.
On Saturday afternoon, 14/2, about a hundred people gathered under the rains near the Gelemy detention center (half way between Haifa and Nazareth), where the 4 Abnaa elBalad detainees are believed to be held. The demonstration was called for by Abnaa elBalad, which published a declaration condemning the arrests and declaring that it will not be terrorized to give up its struggle against the racist regime. Ettegah, the union of Arab civil organizations, the communist party, Friends of the Prisoner Association and the `Arab-Jewish Ta`ayush movement endorsed the demonstration and took part. It is important to note that, in the same Gelemy detention camp, 5 leading members of the Islamic movement, headed by Sheikh Ra`ed Salah, are already held for more than 9 months, as well as some members of elTagamu elWatani elDemocrati. In this light, the demonstration was targeted at the wholesale attack against the democratic rights of the Palestinian in the 1948 territories and against political detention. In spite of the cold, the demonstrators, all wet, kept high spirits and spent more than an hour shouting slogans in support of the detainees and singing patriotic songs.
Pictures from the demonstration may be seen on Abnaa elBalad`s site
Messages of solidarity were received from all over the world. Abnaa elBalad declarations were published by supporters around the world in English, French, Spanish, German and Hebrew, in addition to the original Arabic. From all around the world we receive messages from groups that held or plan protest action. This support is most important to us, to show that our call for justice and democracy is not in vain. It is most important to connect the defense of Abnaa elBalad activists with a call for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners and freedom fighters, and to expose the dictatorial racist character of the Israeli Apartheid regime. The oppression of the leadership of those Palestinians in the 1948 occupied territories, which are officially regarded citizens of Israel, for their legal political activity, shows that Israel`s "Jewish Democracy" is only a thin mask on the iron fist of a repressive racist regime.
Message of solidarity and reports about activities will be most welcomed at: Yoav_bar@mail.com
On Monday, 10:00, Comrades Muhammad Kana`ane, Husam and Sahar are expected to be brought before the Acre court. Our presence at the court is most important to show that they are not alone, and that political persecutions will not silence our quest for national rights and a better world.
On Thursday, Yusuf Abu-`Ali might be brought before the Acre court.