Interrogation repeatedly extended for BDS leader, grassroots activist Salah Khawaja #FreeSalah

free-salahPalestinian grassroots activist Salah Khawaja, the Secretary of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) in Palestine, once again was ordered to eight days in interrogation on Wednesday, 16 November. Khawaja, 45 and a leader of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall), was seized from his home in a violent raid by Israeli occupation military forces on 26 October. He had been denied access to a lawyer for 20 days and was only allowed to peak to a lawyer for the first time on 16 November at the Petah Tikva military court.

Since that time, he has been held under interrogation in Petah Tikva interrogation center. He has been subject to numerous intense interrogation sessions and it was reported by his lawyer that he has visibly lost weight and is sleep deprived. He has undergone over 40 interrogtion sessions lasting eight to 16 hours each; Khawaja reported to his lawyer that he has been beaten and that interrogators have spit in his face, screamed in his ears, and kicked at his genitals, and that his family members have been threatened, reported Stop The Wall.

Front Line Defenders, Unadikum and Stop the Wall have issued calls for action in support of Khawaja and urging international attention to support this case of a Palestinian human rights defender targeted for his activism.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joins in the call for action in the case of Salah Khawaja and demands his immediate freedom. We urge international action in support of Salah and all imprisoned Palestinians.

Take action!

1. Participate in the Front Line Defenders action, urging the Israeli state to immediately release Khawaja and end its persecution of Palestinian human rights defenders. Join in here:

2. Participate in the Stop the Wall action and send the sample letter to your government officials to demand they speak up about the case of Salah Khawaja and other human rights defenders.

3. Demand your country’s officials speak up and end the silence and complicity in the detention of Salah Khawaja and other Palestinian human rights defenders, and over 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners. Call your foreign affairs officials – and members of parliament – and urge action on this case.

Call during your country’s regular office hours:

  • Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop: + 61 2 6277 7500
  • Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion: +1-613-996-5789
  • European Union Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
  • New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully: +64 4 439 8000
  • United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: +44 20 7008 1500
  • United States President Barack Obama: 1-202-456-1111

Tell your government:

  1. Salah Khawaja, a Palestinian human rights defender, has been arbitrarily detained since 26 October and denied access to a lawyer. Salah is one of the primary Palestinian voices against the illegal settlements and wall destroying Palestinian land.
  2. Your government must demand Salah’s immediate release and an end to the persecution of Palestinian human rights defenders by the Israeli state. 
  3. Israel’s interrogation of Salah at Petah Tikva violates the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilians during Times of War, which prohibits the transfer of protected civilians to the territory of the occupying power. Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilians during Times of War, which prohibits the transfer of protected civilians to the territory of the occupying power. 
  4. The government must do more than express concern, but should also take serious measures to end these violations. Representatives of your government should attend Salah’s hearings beginning on 6 November, and suspend agreements with Israeli institutions involved in the ongoing imprisonment and oppression of Palestinians.