French-Palestinian activist and human rights defender Salah Hamouri was seized by Israeli occupation forces on Wednesday, 23 August. A former prisoner, Hamouri is a legal advocate and field researcher for Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.
After Hamouri, 32, was seized from his home in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kufr Aqab, he was taken to the Moskobiyeh interrogation center in Jerusalem. His detention was then extended until 27 August for further interrogation.
The seizure of Hamouri is only the latest act of repression and intimidation carried out by the Israeli state. After six years in Israeli prison amid an extensive grassroots campaign in France for his freedom, Hamouri pursued studying law in order to advocate for fellow prisoners. Hamouri’s wife was denied entry to and banned from Palestine while pregnant with their child and he has been banned from the West Bank until September 2016 – including in apparent attempts to prevent him from completing his legal studies. Indeed, on 20 August – just days before his arrest – he had just passed the Palestinian bar examination.
He has been an international representative of the Palestinian cause and the prisoners’ struggle, speaking at the World Social Forum in Brazil, large events across France (including the main stage at Fete de l’Humanite) and Israeli Apartheid Week in Belgium in February 2017, among many others.
Organizations and parliamentarians across France are mobilizing to demand Hamouri’s freedom once again and to pressure the French government to take action on this case. While an observer from the French consulate in Jerusalem was present in al-Moskobiyeh court on Wednesday, 23 August, this is not sufficient. The French state must take real action to demand freedom for Salah Hamouri, the Palestinian human rights defender.
Parliamentarians of the French Communist Party (PCF) Pierre Laurent, Jean-Paul Lecoq, Jean-Pierre Bosino, and Alain Bruneel as well as Philippe Poutou, the spokesperson of the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA) Philippe Poutou and Fronte de Gauche (FG) municipal counselor Madjid Messaoudene have joined organizations including the Association France-Palestine Solidarite, Coup Pour Coup 31, Plate-forme Charleroi-Palestine (Belgium), Agence Media-Palestine, Union Juive Francaise pour la Paix, EuroPalestine, Samidoun, League for Human Rights, Comac (Belgium) , the CNT left labor union, and others in demanding Salah Hamouri’s immediate liberation. It is critical to act quickly to intensify the calls on France to act before the court hearing on Sunday.
1. SIGN this petition to French president Emanuel Macron and European officials. Demand that they act now to free Hamouri: https://www.change.org/p/emmanuel-macron-demand-the-immediate-release-of-human-rights-defender-salah-hamouri
2. SIGN this French-language petition to the French government to demand they act for Hamouri’s freedom: http://liberezsalahhamouri.wesign.it/fr
3. SEND an individual message to several offices of the French government demanding action. The text below is provided by the Association France-Palestine Solidarite (AFPS).
Consulate General of France in Jerusalem by following this link: https://jerusalem.consulfrance.org/Contactez-nous-par-mail
Ministry of Foreign Affairs at this link: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/mentions-legales-infos-pratiques/nous-ecrire/ By filling in the form with the subject line “Français de l’étranger” (French abroad)
Presidency of the Republic: http://www.elysee.fr/ecrire-au-president-de-la-republique/
Monsieur le Consul,
ou Monsieur le Ministre des affaires étrangères
ou Monsieur le Président de la République,
Je viens d’apprendre l’arrestation de Salah Hamouri par le message de son épouse Elsa Lefort, retranscrit ci-dessous :
“Salah Hamouri a été arrêté cette nuit à notre domicile de Jérusalem-Est par l’armée d’occupation venue en grand nombre le cueillir dans son sommeil. Comme souvent, les autorités militaires ne donnent aucun motif à cette arrestation et nous n’avons que peu d’informations au sujet de sa détention, il n’a pu contacter personne. Nous demandons à la France d’agir avec conviction pour protéger et obtenir la libération de notre concitoyen qui subit une fois de plus l’arbitraire israélien.”
L’arrestation de notre concitoyen est inadmissible et insupportable. Les autorités françaises ne doivent pas laisser passer une telle infamie.
Je vous demande d’œuvrer dès aujourd’hui, au nom de la France, pour la libération de Monsieur Salah Hamouri.
Veuillez agréer, Monsieur, l’expression de ma haute considération.
Dear Consul (or Minister of Foreign Affairs, or President of the Republic)
I have learned of the arrest of Salah Hamouri through the message of his wife, Elsa Lefort, below:
“Salah Hamouri was arrested last night at our home in East Jerusalem by the occupying army who had come to take him in his sleep. As often occurs, the military authorities gave no reason for the arrest. We are calling upon France to act with conviction to protect and obtain the release of our fellow citizen who is once again subjected to Israeli arbitrary practices.”
The arrest of our fellow citizen is unacceptable and unbearable. The French authorities must not allow such infamous behavior to pass.
I ask you to act today, on behalf of France, for the release of Mr. Salah Hamouri.
Please accept the assurance of my highest consideration.
More on Salah Hamouri:
Activist Salah Hamouri imprisoned by Israeli Occupation (Coup Pour Coup 31): http://www.couppourcoup31.com/2017/08/le-militant-salah-hamouri-emprisonne-par-l-occupant-israelien.html
Salah Hamouri at risk of administrative detention (Pour la Palestine, Plate-forme Charleroi-Palestine/Belgium): http://www.pourlapalestine.be/salah-hamouri-risque-detre-place-en-detention-administrative-comme-des-milliers-dautres-palestiniens/
Call for mobilization (AFPS): http://www.france-palestine.org/Mobilisation-pour-la-liberation-de-Salah-Hamouri-31491
Freedom for Salah Hamouri! (AFPS): http://www.france-palestine.org/Liberte-pour-Salah-Hamouri-arrete-arbitrairement-par-l-armee-israelienne
Free Salah Hamouri! (CAPJPO – EuroPalestine): http://europalestine.com/spip.php?article13352&lang=en
Free Salah Hamouri (UJFP – French Jewish Union for Peace): http://www.ujfp.org/spip.php?article5814
Salah Hamouri – the French government should intervene with Israeli Authorities (League of Human Rights, LDH): https://www.ldh-france.org/salah-hamouri-gouvernement-francais-intervenir-aupres-autorites-israeliennes/
Immediate release for Salah Hamouri – Ensemble! https://www.ensemble-fdg.org/content/communique-de-ensemble-liberation-immediate-de-salah-hamouri
Urgent Action – Salah Hamouri Again Arrested (French Platform of NGOs for Palestine): https://plateforme-palestine.org/Action-Urgente-Salah-Hamouri-a-nouveau-arrete
No to Colonial Arbitrary Detention – Freedom for Salah Hamouri (New Anticapitalist Party, NPA): https://www.npa2009.org/communique/non-larbitraire-colonial-liberte-pour-salah-hamouri
L’Humanite – Imprisonment of Salah Hamouri extended until Sunday: http://www.france-palestine.org/Salah-Hamouri-maintenu-en-detention-jusqu-a-dimanche
L’Humanite – Salah Hamouri arrested for “no reason”: http://www.france-palestine.org/Salah-Hamouri-arrete-sans-aucun-motif-par-l-armee-israelienne
Le Monde – Franco-Palestinian Salah Hamouri again arrested by Israel: http://www.france-palestine.org/Le-Franco-Palestinien-Salah-Hamouri-une-nouvelle-fois-arrete-par-Israel
Addameer Field Researcher Salah Hamouri Seized by Israeli Occupation Forces: http://addameer.org/news/addameers-field-researcher-salah-hammouri-seized-israeli-occupation-forces
Electronic Intifada – Palestinian Authority imposing police state in West Bank, Ali Abunimah: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/palestinian-authority-imposing-police-state-west-bank