Palestinian student leader and media activist Ibrahim Abu Safiya remains imprisoned after his detention was extended by Israeli occupation forces until 5 November 2016. Abu Safiya, the coordinator of the Islamic Association at Bir Zeit University, was arrested at Beit Ur checkpoint west of Ramallah on 28 September by occupation forces.
The Islamic Association at Bir Zeit issued a statement denouncing the arrest of their coordinator, saying that it “reflects the occupation’s arbitrary policy against Palestinian media, activists and organizers, and punitive actions to cover the crimes of the occupation and the settlers.”
Abu Safiya, 21, is a journalism student at Bir Zeit in his final year, an active member of many popular unions and associations who works with a number of media offices as a freelance journalist and researcher.
He is heavily involved in Bir Zeit student union activities, including the 28-day student strike against tuition increases on the campus, in which he engaged in a five-day hunger strike. Just days before his arrest, he spoke to the media about the success of the student campaign in preventing tuition hikes that make education inaccessible to Paletinian youth, and announcing the agreement to end the student strike. Abu Safiya had been one of the four student spokespeople and representatives during the anti-tuition-hike campaign.
Dozens of Palestinian journalists remain imprisoned by the Israeli occupation, including Omar Nazzal, member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate; Hasan Safadi, media coordinator for Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association; and Ali Oweiwi, journalist held without charge or trial.
Abu Safiya’s arrest also points to the ongoing targeting of Palestinian student activists and organizers for involvement in student union activities, student protests and other student actions on campus.