Khalida Jarrar, Palestinian leftist and feminist parliamentarian and advocate for political prisoners, has been sentenced by an Israeli occupation military court in Ofer to 15 months imprisonment today, 6 December 2015. Arrested by occupation military forces who invaded her Ramallah home on 2 April, the imprisonment of Jarrar, former executive director and current vice-chair of the board of directors of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, has sparked widespread Palestinian, Arab and international outrage.
Jarrar is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council for the Abu Ali Mustafa bloc, the parliamentary bloc affiliated with the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In 2014, she had been targeted for forced displacement to Jericho from Ramallah by an occupation military order, which she succeeded in defeating after a month-long sit-in at the PLC office and an international support campaign.
In April, she was immediately placed in administrative detention without charge or trial following her arrest. An international outcry – including a vote by the Portuguese parliament demanding her release – followed, and she was then charged in Israeli military courts. While the military courts present an appearance of a “trial,” these trials are in reality no more just or fair than arbitrary administrative detention. 99.74% of Palestinians who come before them are convicted.
Jarrar was charged with twelve entirely political charges relating to her public political activity, including giving speeches, attending public forums, and calling for the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners. She was accused of “incitement” for allegedly calling for the capture of Israeli occupation soldiers by the Palestinian resistance in order to free Palestinian prisoners. Despite this statement by the occupation military, they could produce no witness to confirm that Jarrar had ever said this – and the witnesses they brought forward all indicated that they were threatened and tortured into giving statements against Jarrar.
Despite the obviously political nature of the charges against Jarrar, an internationally-recognized parliamentarian and political leader, and the steadfast advocacy of her lawyers of Addameer, she was convicted by the Israeli military courts – as is entirely standard – and sentenced to fifteen months in Israeli occupation prisons.
“The conviction of Khalida Jarrar comes as no surprise; Israeli military courts serve no function except as an instrument of repression and suppression directed against Palestinians. Khalida Jarrar is a Palestinian political leader and an internationally-renowned struggler for justice. She has dedicated her life to working for freedom for her people and her land, and especially for the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners,” said Charlotte Kates, coordinator of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.
“It is urgent that we build the movement internationally to demand freedom for Jarrar and for her nearly 7,000 sisters and brothers held as Palestinian political prisoners inside Israeli jails. Khalida Jarrar is a longtime struggler for freedom and social justice, on Palestinian, Arab and international levels. We must do our utmost to advance her goals – to see Palestine, free of colonialism and oppression, with justice and liberation for all, including protesting, organizing and building the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions, and international isolation of Israel.”
1. Protest at the Israeli consulate or embassy in your area and demand freedom for Khalida Jarrar and all Palestinian prisoners. This is a time of uprising and intifada – protests are happening around the world and are more urgent than ever. see our list of actions here:http://samidoun.net/2015/10/take-action-rise-up-with-palestine-global-protest-actions/ Hold a community event or discussion, or include Khalida Jarrar’s case in your next event about Palestine and social justice. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inform us of your action.
2. Contact your government officials and demand they pressure Israel to free Palestinian prisoners. In Canada, Call the office of the new Foreign Minister, Stéphane Dion, at 613-996-5789 and demand an end to Canadian support for Israel and that Canada pressure Israel to free Palestinian prisoners, including Khalida Jarrar, or email: email@example.com. In the US, call the White House (202-456-1111) and the US State Department (202-647-9572); demand an end to US aid to Israel and that the US pressure Israel to free Palestinian prisoners. In the EU, contact your MEP – you can find your MEP here, or use the tool at http://freepalestine.eu/ to both call for an end to the EU-Israel Association Agreement and for the EU to pressure Israel to free Jarrar and her fellow prisoners
3. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. G4S, a global security corporation, is heavily involved in providing services to Israeli prisons that jail Palestinian political prisoners – there is a global call to boycott it. Palestinian political prisoners have issued a specific call urging action on G4S. Learn more about BDS at bdsmovement.net.