Take Action: Demand release of detained Palestinian human rights defender and BDS leader Salah Khawaja #FreeSalah

Palestinian human rights defender and Secretary of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee Salah Khawaja remains imprisoned and denied access to a lawyer at the Petah Tikva interrogation center.

Khawaja, 46, a leading member of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall)  and BDS leader, has been detained under interrogation since 26 October, when he was seized in a violent pre-dawn military raid on his home. As occupation forces raided his home, they sprayed tear gas in the area entering many neighborhood homes in an attempt to quell protests against the seizure of this popular activist. The Palestinian BDS National Committee, of which Khawaja serves as secretary, is the broadest Palestinian civil society coalition that works to lead and support the BDS movement, the growing international movement for the boycott of Israel.

On 31 October, the Israeli Military Court of Appeals rejected an appeal filed by Khawaja’s lawyers with Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association against his lengthy interrogation period and denial of access to a lawyer. Another hearing will take place in the case on Sunday, 6 November.

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:  https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/action/take-action-salah-khawaja

2. 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.