Free Mohammed Abu Sakha! Palestinian circus artist in administrative detention

On Monday, 10 July, an Israeli occupation military court ordered Palestinian circus artist Mohammed Abu Sakha to six months in admininistrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. In the past year, the use of administrative detention to target Palestinians has spiked dramatically, with approximately 1,083 Palestinians currently jailed without charge or trial, over one-fifth of all Palestinian political prisoners in occupation jails.

This comes a full month after he was seized by occupation forces in the village of Huwwarra, as he was traveling to visit his family in occupied Jenin, on 9 June 2023. Abu Sakha is the coordinator of social programs at the Palestinian Circus School.

As a circus artist since 2011, Abu Sakha has traveled around the world with the school and participated in circus tours throughout Palestine. He was previously jailed under administrative detention without charge or trial between December 2015 and August 2017. During that time, he conducted a hunger strike and received widespread international solidarity and support, with actions around the world from activists, fellow circus artists and performers demanding his immediate release.

Photo: Toulouse protest to free Mohammed Abu Sakha in 2016

Administrative detention orders are based on a so-called “secret file,” to which both the detainees and their lawyers are denied access. These orders are indefinitely renewable, and Palestinians are routinely jailed for years at a time under administrative detention orders, a form of arbitrary and unlawful detention.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network demands the immediate release of Mohammed Abu Sakha, the end of administrative detention, and freedom for all 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in Zionist occupation jails.

We urge all friends and supporters of Palestine — particularly artists, circus performers and cultural workers — to take up the campaign to free Mohammed Abu Sakha and his fellow cultural workers targeted for silencing and colonial imprisonment in occupied Palestine. As the prisoners continue to resist behind occupation bars, the liberation of the prisoners is central to the liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea!

Source: Collectif Palestine Vaincra