Occupied Ramallah, 18 September 2014 – In the early hours of this morning Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) re-arrested Ayman Nasser (44) from his home in the West Bank village of Saffa. Nasser is the legal unit coordinator at Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.
Nasser’s wife reported that “at 1:30AM, a large number of IOF raided our house while we were sleeping. We woke up to the sounds of heavy knocking on the front door and my husband, Ayman, rushed to open the door. Around 15 soldiers raided the house and started yelling at me and my children, demanding us to move to the living room. Six soldiers, including one female soldier, pointed their weapons at us while we waited in the living room. Half an hour later, a military officer identified Ayman and took him outside the house. Ayman returned with the officer after ten minutes, and said goodbye to us.”
Addameer utterly condemns the re-arrest of its legal unit coordinator which is clearly a continuation of the systematic targeting of Palestinian human rights organizations by Israeli forces which aim to criminalize their work, silence their voices and prevent them from carrying out their work in supporting all Palestinian political prisoners and detainees.
Nasser is a human rights defender and actively works on human rights issues and prisoners affairs. Nasser’s arrest is a clear violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. 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. Nasser clearly falls within the category, in that his activities are peaceful in nature and aimed at the promotion of human rights.
Nasser has previously been imprisoned by IOF on two separate occasions. He was previously arrested on 15 October 2012 and spent 39 days under interrogation in Al-Moskobiyeh detention center in Jerusalem. He subsequently received a 13 months sentence and a 15 month suspended sentence for four years, in addition to 4000 NIS fine. Nasser was released on 21 October 2013. Nasser was also arrested in 1992 and received a six year sentence. He was released on 27 October 1997.
Nasser holds a masters degree in Social Psychology of Education and previously lectured at Al-Quds Open University. He is also the founder on Handala educational center in his village of Saffa, which is an educational center established in 1999 and is based on voluntary work that focuses on arts, athletics and education. Nasser was also elected chairperson of Saffa Athletic Club twice since 2003. He was also elected as a member in the Municipal Council in Saffa village while he was still in prison. Nasser is married and has four children.
Addameer demands that the international community take serious measures to ensure that the Israeli policy of arbitrary detention ceases and that all Palestinian political prisoners and detainees are released from occupation prisons.