Palestinian student activist Kifah Quzmar was freed from Palestinian Authority detention on Thursday, 19 May; he was arrested on 11 May and ordered to remain jailed for 15 days for investigation of his facebook post in which he denounced the Palestinian Authority for its detention of friend and fellow youth activist Seif al-Idrissi.
Quzmar was released on Thursday after his brother retained a lawyer and sued in Palestinian court for his release; his brother paid $7000 in bail, and Quzmar must return to court next week. Quzmar missed two exams in his Bir Zeit University studies while imprisoned, reported Mondoweiss in an interview with Quzmar upon his release.
Quzmar, who has met many international activists at conferences and events, organizes with the Progressive Democratic Student Pole at Bir Zeit University, the leftist student bloc in campus politics. He is not alone in being targeted for Facebook posts by the PA; dozens of people are annually arrested for “insulting” PA officials, including a number of Palestinian students. Leftist students like Quzmar and members of the Islamic Bloc have been detained by PA forces.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian leftist political party, demanded Quzmar’s “immediate and unconditional release as well as that of all political detainees and prisoners of security coordination in PA jails.”
“First off, Quzmar was not held in a traditional jail cell. He was remanded to an intelligence center without proper facilities guaranteed to incarcerated persons. Quzmar’s brothers dropped off a few changes of clothes and a towel, but he was not provided with these items…Quzmar’s attorney was in court where a judge ordered his release. However, the Palestinian intelligence service refused to let him go free. Quzmar remained in custody for an additional eight-hours before he was abruptly told he could go home,” reported Mondoweiss.
These events come in the framework of Palestinian Authority security forces’ “security coordination” with Israeli occupation forces, including the sharing of intelligence information, and the arrest of over 150 Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces for posts on Facebook and other social media sites.
Photo: Facebook, Quzmar at a Progressive Democratic Student Pole rally at Bir Zeit