Nael Barghouthi, the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner, was transferred on Tuesday, 10 January from Ramon prison to Gilboa prison. This marks the fourth consecutive time that Barghouthi has been transferred recently.
Barghouthi has spent a total of nearly 36 years in Israeli prisons. Arrested in 1978 and sentenced to a life sentence for his involvement in the Palestinian resistance, he was released with over 1,000 fellow prisoners in the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange in 2011.
While he married after his release and returned to his life in the village of Kobar outside Ramallah, in 2014, he was swept up with other former prisoners in a series of arrests. Under Israeli military order 1651 – violating the release agreement – re-arrested prisoners can have their former sentences reimposed upon them by a military committee on the basis of secret evidence. This secret evidence is denied to both the prisoner and their lawyer.
Even with this secret evidence, Barghouthi was ordered to 30 months in prison, a sentence that ended on 17 December 2016. However, he was not released, because in 2015, the Israeli military prosecution appealed the sentence, demanding his original life sentence be re-imposed. No decision has yet been made in the case by the committee.
His lawyers appealed for his release, but on Wednesday, 4 January, it was denied by an Israeli military court. His family have emphasized their commitment to appeal the case.
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network are joining in this urgent call for action to pressure Israel to release Nael Barghouthi, being held as a political hostage by the Israeli government.
- Sign and share the Change.org petition to urge international officials to take action for Nael Barghouthi’s release: https://www.change.org/p/international-officials-pressure-israel-to-free-nael-barghouthi
- Organize a protest, demonstration, speaking event or banner drop in your city, community or campus calling for freedom for Nael Barghouthi and his fellow Palestinian prisoners.
- Write to Israeli officials to demand Nael Barghouthi’s release. Write a message and email or fax it to the officials. Details available here: http://samidoun.net/2017/01/take-action-urgent-call-to-free-nael-barghouthi-longest-held-palestinian-prisoner/