Take action in solidarity with Nasser Nawaj’a

Btselem  +972

Take action – model letters to send are at the bottom of this post.

Around 2am on Wednesday 20th January, Israeli military forces came to Khirbet Susiya in the South Hebron Hills and arrested Nasser Nawaj’a, a long-term activist and field worker for the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem. The arrest followed that of two Israeli activists (Ezra Nawi and Guy Butavia) who were accused in an Israeli TV show, for which Nasser was also secretly filmed, of collaborating with the Palestinian Security Services against a Palestinian man who was allegedly trying to sell West Bank land to Israeli settlers (link to news coverage below). Nasser was taken to the Shai police headquarters, near Ma’ale Adumim settlement. The investigators told his lawyer, att. Gaby Lasky, that they will issue a warrant prohibiting him from consulting with her. Nasser appeared in a Jerusalem magistrate’s court on Thursday 21st January, and the judge declared that he could not be detained or charged by Israeli police because he is not an Israeli citizen and the alleged crime did not have a connection to national security nor was it carried out on Israeli territory. The police evidently wanted to keep him in detention anyway and handed him over to Ofer military prison (link to Btselem report below). We are extremely concerned that Nasser may be held now indefinitely without proper access to lawyers, and possibly subject to ill treatment in custody.

Nasser’s activities in Susiya and the South Hebron Hills region have been crucial in campaigning against the evictions of Palestinians from villages there and the take-over of their land by Israeli settlers, as well as in exposing violent attacks of settlers on Palestinians. His arrest is part of a current campaign by Israeli right-wing and settler groups, with the support of most Israeli media, against both Palestinian and Israeli activists who are trying to stop Palestinians being moved off their land in this area of the West Bank. Nasser is a key figure in the community of Susiya and has a wife and young children, and has hosted hundreds of international supporters and visitors during their stays in the village. Here is a short video of Iyam, Nasser’s wife, explaining what happened during Nasser’s arrest: https://vimeo.com/alllies/free_nasser

At this time it is vital that Nasser be allowed access to his lawyer and that the Israeli authorities are not able to get away with detaining him without charge and using illegal and violent interrogation techniques against him. Please spare a couple of minutes to write to the Israeli authorities, the Israeli embassy in your home country and your home country’s embassy in Israel in support of Nasser and so that the Israeli state knows the world is watching. Below are example texts that you can use (although personalising these letters a little is very useful) as well as the relevant embassy contacts for UK citizens (for other countries please check the relevant contact details of the embassies online). Fax and/or email are preferable so that these appeals arrive quickly. Please also share this message widely to make this letter campaign as effective as possible.

Letter to Israeli authorities:

Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu
Office of the Prime Minister
3 Kaplan St, PO Box 187
Kiryat Ben-Gurion
Jerusalem 91950, Israel
Tel: 972-2-6705555
Fax: 972-2-5664838
Email: pm_eng@pmo.gov.il

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
9 Yitzhak Rabin Blvd.
Kiryat Ben-Gurion
Jerusalem 91035
Tel: 972-2-5303111
Fax: 972-2-5303367
feedback@mfa.gov.il
Dear Prime Minister/Foreign Minister,

I am writing to express my concern for Nasser Nawaj’a, resident of Khirbet Susiya in the South Hebron Hills, following reports that he was detained without charge by Israeli authorities on the morning of Wednesday 20th January. I am extremely concerned for Nasser’s wellbeing and reports that he has been denied access to meet with his lawyer. I have learned that Nasser was taken to the Shai police headquarters, near Ma’ale Adumim settlement and that the investigators told his lawyer, att. Gaby Lasky, that they will issue a warrant prohibiting him from consulting with her. Preventing an arrestee from meeting his lawyer is a draconian and unacceptable measure, and a blatant violation of due process. His lawyer was not told for which suspicions he was to be interrogated. Despite a Jerusalem court’s ruling on Thursday 21st January that there is no reason for the Israeli authorities to keep Nasser in detention, the Israeli police defied the ruling and transferred him to Ofer military prison. I find this unlawful transfer unacceptable and extremely worrying.

I am concerned that the arrest and detention of Nasser Nawaj’a has political motivations, given his peaceful human rights campaigning, and hereby call for the Israeli authorities to end this campaign of harassment, intimidation and arbitrary detention against human rights activists in the occupied Palestinian territories. I strongly urge that Nasser Nawaj’a be immediately and unconditionally released. Until then, I ask you to assure his physical safety while in detention and guarantee that he is not subject to torture or other ill-treatment.

Respectfully,

Letter To Israeli Embassy in UK/your country:

Deputy Ambassador Eitan Na’eh
Israeli Embassy
2 Palace Green
London
W8 4QB
Tel:020 7957 9500
Fax:0207 957 9555
info@london.mfa.gov.il
Dear Ambassador,

I am writing to express my concern for Nasser Nawaj’a, resident of Khirbet Susiya in the South Hebron Hills, following reports that he was detained without charge by Israeli authorities on the morning of Wednesday 20th January. I am extremely concerned for Nasser’s wellbeing and reports that he has been denied access to meet with his lawyer. I have learned that Nasser was taken to the Shai police headquarters, near Ma’ale Adumim settlement and that the investigators told his lawyer, att. Gaby Lasky, that they will issue a warrant prohibiting him from consulting with her. Preventing an arrestee from meeting his lawyer is a draconian and unacceptable measure, and a blatant violation of due process. His lawyer was not told for which suspicions he was to be interrogated. Despite a Jerusalem court’s ruling on Thursday 21st January that there is no reason for the Israeli authorities to keep Nasser in detention, the Israeli police defied the ruling and transferred him to Ofer military prison. I find this unlawful transfer unacceptable and extremely worrying.

I am concerned that the arrest and detention of Nasser Nawaj’a has political motivations, given his peaceful human rights campaigning, and hereby call for the Israeli authorities to end this campaign of harassment, intimidation and arbitrary detention against human rights activists in the occupied Palestinian territories. I strongly urge that Nasser Nawaj’a be immediately and unconditionally released. Until then, I ask you to take steps to assure his physical safety while in detention and guarantee that he is not subject to torture or other ill-treatment.

Respectfully,

Letter to UK embassy in Israel:

Mr David Quarrey
British Ambassador to Israel
British Embassy
192 Hayarkon Street
6340502 Tel Aviv
Israel
Telephone+972 (0)3 725 1222
Fax +972 (0)3 725 1203
webmaster.telaviv@fco.gov.uk
Dear Ambassador,

I am writing to express my concern for Nasser Nawaj’a, resident of Khirbet Susiya in the South Hebron Hills, following reports that he was detained without charge by Israeli authorities on the morning of Wednesday 20th January. I am extremely concerned for Nasser’s wellbeing and reports that he has been denied access to meet with his lawyer. I have learned that Nasser was taken to the Shai police headquarters, near Ma’ale Adumim settlement and that the investigators told his lawyer, att. Gaby Lasky, that they will issue a warrant prohibiting him from consulting with her. Preventing an arrestee from meeting his lawyer is a draconian and unacceptable measure, and a blatant violation of due process. His lawyer was not told for which suspicions he was to be interrogated. Despite a Jerusalem court’s ruling on Thursday 21st January that there is no reason for the Israeli authorities to keep Nasser in detention, the Israeli police defied the ruling and transferred him to Ofer military prison. I find this unlawful transfer unacceptable and extremely worrying.

I am concerned that the arrest and detention of Nasser Nawaj’a has political motivations, given his peaceful human rights campaigning, and hereby call for the UK to put pressure on the Israeli authorities to end this campaign of harassment, intimidation and arbitrary detention against human rights activists in the occupied Palestinian territories. I strongly urge that UK authorities take every step possible to ensure that Nasser Nawaj’a is immediately and unconditionally released. Until then, I ask you to take steps to assure his physical safety while in detention and that he is not subject to torture or other ill-treatment.

Respectfully,

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