Addameer researcher arrested and detained by Israel in latest attack on Palestinian Civil Society

Ramallah, 15 October 2012 – Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association are outraged by this morning’s arrest its staff member Ayman Nasser. Ayman, a researcher, has been working with Addameer for almost five years.

At 1.00am this morning a large number of Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) raided his home in the village of Safa, near Ramallah. The raid lasted about 1.5 hours, during which time IOF used sniffer dogs to search each room in the house and confiscated Ayman’s computer and mobile phone.

They also searched the computer of Ayman’s children and confiscated some pieces of it. Ayman’s wife was kept in a separate room during the raid with two Israeli soldiers pointing their weapons at her the entire time. At approximately 3.00am Ayman was taken away by IOF and is currently being held in Moskobiyyeh detention center in Jerusalem.

Ayman earned his Master’s Degree in Social and Educational Psychology, from Abu Dis University. He has four children, the oldest being 13 and the youngest just 3 years old. He is also a former detainee himself, having spent six years in Israeli prisons from 1991.

Ayman has been a human rights activist for many years and Addameer considers him a human rights defender, due to his role in advocating the rights of Palestinian prisoners. Human rights defenders are formally defined as persons who work, peacefully, for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Addameer also considers the arrest of Ayman as the latest attempt by Israel to target not only Addameer as an organization advocating for Palestinian prisoner’s rights but also the targeting Palestinian civil society in general.

Ayman’s arrest comes not long after Addameer Chairperson Abdullatif Ghaith was banned from entering the West Bank and from travelling abroad. In, addition, numerous Addameer staff members have been banned from travelling freely within the OPT and abroad, which has had signification implications on the ability of Addameer to carry out it work in support of Palestinian prisoners and their families.

We call on all the international community to intervene immediately on behalf of Ayman Nasser. In particular, Addameer calls on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders to intervene with Israel and raise the case of Ayman Nasser and other Palestinian human rights defenders, including Addameer Chairperson Abdullatif Ghaith.