Khalida Jarrar, imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarian feminist, leftist and advocate for the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners, faced an Israeli military trial yet again on Sunday, 8 November after multiple postponements.
Arrested since 2 April, Jarrar’s military trial has dragged on for months as Israeli military prosecutors delay in bringing witnesses and repeatedly postponed her trial. Jarrar was only accused of 12 entirely political charges related to her public speeches, advocacy and event attendance as a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a member of the board of directors of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association after her original order for administrative detention without charge or trial sparked an international outcry.
The charges against Jarrar, which accuse her of “support” and “membership” in a prohibited organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – like all major Palestinian political parties, banned by Israel – by attending events, calling for freedom of political prisoners, going to protest tents in solidarity with striking prisoners, and speaking to the media.
In Sunday’s hearing, a police investigator was brought to testify only that he translated a statement into Arabic and then into Hebrew following a Shin Bet interrogation of a third party. Avi Blecherman reported on the hearing for 972mag:
“You spoke previously about your many years of experience as an investigator and about the professional methods you use in interrogations,” defense attorney Mahmoud Hassan posed to the police investigator. “What I am hearing here is something entirely different. An entirely technical process of Arabic transcription, not an interrogation. This is simply a copy/paste of a Shin Bet interrogation, without any investigatory activity by you. It’s identical.”
Further, Hassan revealed, a “lineup” was presented to the witness under interrogation, from which he was asked to identify Jarrar: a group of photos of six men and one woman. “The defense attorney presented to the court seven photographs, which, sure enough, wereof six men and the seventh photo was of Khalida Jarrar. That’s what passes for a photo lineup according to Israel’s finest,” wrote Blecherman.
Even the military judge, who represents a military court system that convicts 99.74% of the Palestinians who appear before it, censured the prosecution twice for draggin out the legal process and refusing to produce witnesses, saying “at this pace we will be forced to release” Jarrar.
In response, the military prosecution stated that if this occurred, they would once again return Jarrar to administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or without trial. Blecherman reported:
“She also worked to promote a boycott of Israeli goods in Europe,” [her lawyer Mahmoud Hassan] added, arguing that Israel is using its military prosecution to take revenge against Jarrar for her use of legitimate political tools. According to Hassan, the foot-dragging is an attempt to force Jarrar into a plea deal because they cannot get a conviction on the merits of evidence.
Palestine solidarity organizer Thomas van Beersum from the Netherlands attended the military hearing, saying:
“The whole trial is just ridiculous. There were no direct witnesses, only Israeli police functioning as ‘witnesses of the witnesses’. The judge, police and the prosecutor (who looked like he was about 14 years old) are all on the same side. Everything is already coordinated before the actual hearings. They are just performing in a badly acted play. Khalida has been a political prisoner for over 7 months now, and it’s quite obvious that they plan to keep her in prison for as long as possible…The psychological terror pushed on political prisoners and their families is just crazy.”
Take Action to support Khalida Jarrar:
1. Click here: Send a message to the Israeli Occupation Forces and demand the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar.It is important that the occupation learns that Khalida has supporters around the world who will not be silent in the face of this injustice.
2. Sign the petition! Sign and share this petition, demanding freedom for Khalida Jarrar immediately.
3. Contact your Member of Parliament, Representative, or Member of European Parliament. The attack on Khalida is an attack on Palestinian parliamentary legitimacy and political expression. Parliamentarians have a responsibility to pressure Israel to cancel this order.
4. Send a letter to Khalida Jarrar – help support her and show her jailers that the world is with her!
5. Use the Campaign Resources to inform your community, parliamentarians and others about Khalida’s case.
6. Protest at the Israeli consulate or embassy for Khalida Jarrar. Bring posters and flyers about Khalida’s case and hold a protest, or join a protest with this important information. Hold a community event or discussion, or include Khalida’s case in your next event about Palestine and social justice.
7. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. Learn more at bdsmovement.net.