On Tuesday, 26 September, Samidoun Netherlands joined Palestijnse Gemeenschap NL for a solidarity demonstration outside the Rotterdam court building, on the occasion of Amin Abu Rashed‘s first formal hearing before the court; he has been jailed as a Palestinian politiclal prisoner in the Netherlands since June of this year.
Despite his deteriorating health and with no evidence presented against him, the judge still returned Amin to pre-trial detention before his next hearing on 7 December, labeling him a “flight risk” even though he is a Dutch citizen with a family, businesses and organizations in the Netherlands who has lived there for decades.
During the demonstration, members of Samidoun NL spoke about Amin’s life, his experience with Zionist repression, and his work to provide thousands of Palestinian refugees, especially in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, with basic needs and a dignified life.
For decades, Amin Abu Rashed has been one of the most prominent leaders of the Palestinian community in the Netherlands, founding and participating in many community organizations as well as solidarity initiatives, such as the Freedom Flotilla and the European Campaign to Break the Siege on Gaza. Most recently, he is the president of the Palestinians in Europe Conference, whose conference in Malmo in May 2023 drew thousands of Palestinians across Europe and was bitterly attacked by Zionist organizations that attempted to prevent it from happening, smearing Abu Rashed in the process.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network considers this decision — and the imprisonment of Amin Abu Rashed — as an attack on the Palestinian movement in Europe, and we consider him to be a Palestinian political prisoner in the Netherlands. He has been targeted for years by the Zionist movement because of his effective role in organizing the Palestinian community and in providing direct charitable support to Palestinians under siege and in exile. This came alongside attacks by the Palestinian Authority on the conference and the work to organize Palestinians in Europe. In a sharp rebuke to all of these propaganda efforts, the conference was a major success in mobilizing the Palestinian community around a message of clear commitment to the right to return on the road to the liberation of Palestine.
We demand the immediate release of Amin Abu Rashed and that all charges against him be dropped. Amin is a respected community leader and organizer, who actively supports his people in social, political and humanitarian ways. We call upon all Palestinian- and solidarity organizations to stand together in defense of Amin and the right to organize for Palestinian liberation.