The following Action Alert and Donation Campaign is being coordinated by the International Solidarity Movement. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network supports this effort and urges all to visit the ISM’s campaign page: http://palsolidarity.org/2015/09/free-mahmoud-nasser/ It is a striking example of the constant use of fines and bail assessments to make Palestinian activism very literally costly, which has only escalated in the past several years. Please participate in this action and donate to support Mahmoud Nasser.
Free all political prisoners and end the military occupation of Palestine!
Mahmoud Nasser, a 24-year-old Palestinian from the village of Beitunia, was arrested after 150 soldiers raided his house in the night of 16 July 2015. He was charged with ‘posing a security threat to Israel.’ However, during the appeal hearing, the military judge ruled that there is not enough evidence that supports Mahmoud’s continuing detention or conviction.
Outrageously so, innocence does not equal immediate release under Israeli military law. Instead, an exorbitant bail of 15.000 New Israeli Shekels is impositioned (around €3430 / $3830). An amount that the family of Mahmoud is unable to pay.
Palestinians from the occupied territories are prosecuted under military law. This practice leads to grave violations of basic human rights inside prisons and allows Israel to control the daily life and movement of Palestinians en masse. Military law permits the imposition of exorbitant bails even when it has been ruled that there is not enough evidence to support the detainment or conviction.
Mahmoud Nasser is a clear victim of this illegal and unjust system.
Take a stand against the occupation, the illegal application of military law in Palestine and in support of all Palestinian political prisoners.
Donate now to help pay the bail and free Mahmoud Nasser. Any amount will help and is greatly appreciated by his family!
How to donate
The easiest way to donate is via PayPal.
Please visit http://palsolidarity.org/donate/ and tick the box ‘Free Mahmoud Nasser’.
Should you not be able to use PayPal, it is possible to directly transfer your donation to the bank account of ISM. You will need the following details:
Account holder: ISMSVERIGE
Account number: 9746647313
IBAN: SE65 8000 0842 0297 4664 7313
Name of the bank: Swedbank
Please note that it is important to reference ‘Free Mahmoud Nasser’ with your transfer.
If you are based in Palestine or Israel, you may wish to transfer the donation directly to the account of the family to avoid losing money on transfer and conversion costs. Therefore it is possible to send your donation to Ahmad Nasser, the brother of Mahmoud. You will need the following details:
Account holder: Ahmad Sameer Ahmad Nasser
Name of the bank: Bank Of Palestine
Address: Rukab Street, Ramallah- Palestine
Account number: 2228092
Please note that we strongly recommend those based outside Palestine/Israel to donate to ISM via Paypal or a direct bank transfer to ISM. This allows us to collect the total amount of donations and subsequently make one single transfer to the family’s bank account. This minimises the costs caused by international transfers and currency conversion rates.
In case of further queries, please direct them to email@example.com.
8 September: The International Solidarity Movement has generously donated 2000 New Israeli Shekel in support of Mahmoud Nasser.
This means we have 13.000 more to go. Not a small amount, but together we can go a long way!
The illegal arrest and exorbitant bail of Mahmoud Nasser
On Thursday, 16th of July 2015 at around 4:00 am Israeli Occupation Forces raided the house of Mahmoud Nasser and his family in Beitunia, occupied Palestine. More than 150 soldiers, border police and intelligence service officers surrounded the neighbourhood and stormed into the house while the family was fast asleep. Mahmoud Nasser was subsequently arrested without being shown an official arrest order.
After being taken to the military prison in Ofer, Mahmoud was ordered to appear in court and charges were levelled against him stating he poses a security threat to Israel. However, the evidence presented by the military prosecution does not at all support the charges. Consequently the judge ruled that there is not enough evidence to continue Mahmoud’s detention nor will it support a future conviction.
Outrageously so, under military law, innocence does not equal immediate release. On the contrary, the military judge ruled that a bail amount of 15.000 New Israeli Shekel (around €3430 / $3830) should be paid before Mahmoud Nasser is to be released. This is an exorbitant bail amount which puts the family under increased financial and psychological pressure. If the bail is not paid, Mahmoud will stay imprisoned for a maximum of eighteen months – a period that would continue to be subject of discussion as the military judge may extend this period even after a specific time limit is set in the case of conviction.
The illegality of military law in occupied Palestine
Under international law it is illegal to acquire land by force, which is what happened during the 1948 and 1967 wars. These wars led to the creation of Israel and subsequently enabled it to annex more land. While the military occupation is internationally considered to be illegal, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are nevertheless prosecuted under Israeli military law.
Military prosecution occurs whenever a Palestinian is considered to pose a security threat to the Israeli state. However, what constitutes ‘a security threat’ is interpreted extremely broadly. A variety of actions is criminalized, including non-violent political and cultural expressions, such as putting up posters, writing political slogans, carrying a Palestinian flag or attending a demonstration. It then comes at no surprise that Amnesty International reported in 2002 that “in light of the large number of those arrested and detained for a short time with very little interrogation, and the consistent use of degrading treatment, Amnesty International is concerned that the aim of the large-scale arrests may have been to collectively punish and to degrade and humiliate Palestinians”.
The implementation of collective punishment through mass incarceration and detention continues until today. Addameer, the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, reports that as of July 2015 5700 Palestinians are inside Israeli prisons. This illustrates that the accusation of posing a security threat to Israel is applied to control everyday movement and enables mass detention of Palestinians.
To protest against this inhumane treatment and unjust and illegal system, Palestinian prisoners have taken the radical step to go on hunger strike. To resist the illegal military rule is a timely action as the Israeli Knesset passed a controversial bill to legalize force-feeding of Palestinian hunger strikers on 30 July 2015. Force-feeding is considered by international and medical organisations as a clear violation of prisoners’ human rights. Recently the cases of hunger strikers Khader Adnan and Mohammed Allan gained international attention. However, there are many more prisoners currently on hunger strike. They organise around concrete demands to improve the poor living standards inside the occupation prisons and are calling for an end to administrative detention.
Donate now to free Mahmoud Nasser and support all political prisoners in their struggle for liberation!
Stay involved and receive updates!
Follow the campaign on Facebook and ISM on Twitter #FreeMahmoud #FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners #EndOccupation
http://www.addameer.org/ – Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
http://www.alhaq.org/ – Palestinian Human Rights Organisation
http://samidoun.net/ – Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, US-based
https://corporatewatch.org/sites/default/files/G4S_profile_Sep12.pdf – Corporate Watch, UK-based independent research group
http://www.btselem.org/ – Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
http://www.alternativenews.org/english/ – Alternative Information Centre, a joint Palestinian-Israeli organisation to promote justice, equality and peace for Palestinians and Israelis
http://visualizingpalestine.org/visuals/administrative-detention – a guide to administrative detention by Visualizing Palestine
https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde15/074/2002/en/ – ‘Israel and the Occupied Territories: Mass detention in cruel, inhuman and degrading conditions’, Amnesty International report, May 2002
Israel Apartheid. A beginners guide – accessible book by Ben White in which he explains the origins of Israel, the colonisation of Palestine since 1948 and examines the current structure of Israeli Apartheid. The book is rooted in White’s extensive on-the-ground experience in the region and includes short testimonies by Palestinians.