Activists in New York City protested on 18 March, calling for freedom for imprisoned Palestinian circus trainer Mohammed Abu Sakha outside the offices of G4S, the security corporation that provides security equipment and control rooms to Israeli prisons, checkpoints and police training centers.
Abu Sakha, 24, was arrested in December 2015 as he traveled from his home in Jenin to the Bir Zeit-based Palestinian Circus School, where he is an accomplished circus performer and teacher, specializing in working with children with intellectual disabilities.
He and the Palestinian Circus School’s troupe have traveled widely in Europe and the United States, performing with fellow circuses and performers.
Abu Sakha was ordered to six months in administrative detention without charge or trial on the basis of so-called “secret evidence.” People around the world have joined the campaign for his freedom, with Amnesty International campaigning for his release and protests in Brussels, London, Toulouse, Copenhagen, Madrid, Heidelberg and a number of other cities. Circuses, performers and musicians have joined the call for Abu Sakha’s freedom.
Abu Sakha will appeal his administrative detention before the Israeli military court on 21 March; a protest outside Ofer Prison will support Abu Sakha’s appeal and call for his release.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network protests weekly outside the offices of G4S, which recently announced that it would be selling off its subsidiary in occupied Palestine after a sustained international campaign, that led to significant contract losses for the corporation. In the same announcement, G4S indicated that it would be getting out of the UK and US private juvenile prison business; however, activists, including the Palestinian Boycott National Committee have emphasized the importance of continued pressure on G4S to ensure that it is held to its commitments.
Photos by Joe Catron