Over 45 Human Rights Activists Detained Today
Over 45 Human Rights Activists Detained Today, 5/8/03 ** At Least Two Arrested
DETAINEES ARE FROM PALESTINE, ISRAEL, U.S., U.K., ITALY, SWEDEN, FRANCE, DENMARK, JAPAN, IRELAND, GERMANY AND CANADA
[Occupied West Bank] At approximately 7am this morning, Palestinian, Israeli, and international human rights activists were detained while attempting to block the demolition of part of a Palestinian family's home, near the village of Mas'ha. The building had been slated for demolition by the Israeli Military because it lay in the path of the Apartheid Wall that Israel is building on occupied Palestinian land.
The peace activists were violently thrown on busses by Israeli soldiers and border police. Two internationals were beaten; one, a US citizen from Los Angeles, was repeatedly kicked in the stomach and may have sustained broken ribs. Immediately, a Caterpillar bulldozer moved in to demolish part of the family home (an animal shed attached to the home).
Though it's difficult to communicate with the detainees and we are unsure of the final numbers, the detainees we know of are from the following countries:
11 US 1 Canada 1 Japan 6 UK 1 Ireland 4 Sweden 1 Denmark 8 Italian 2 France 5 Israel 3 Palestinians
Detainees are being held at Ariel Prison in the illegal settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank. One Palestinian and one Italian have been put under formal arrest. The others, the Israeli Ministry of Interior is currently deciding what they want to do with. One option is for them to deport the internationals. To our knowledge, the Ministry of Interior has not yet issued a decision.
Please flood the Ministry of Interior with phone calls from around the world, asking that ALL the detainees be released. Let them know that you are watching and protest the Israeli government's attempts to deport peace activists witnessing and trying to prevent abuses against Palestinian human rights.
You can phone the Ministry of Interior at: +972 2 670 1648
You can also flood Ariel prison with calls demanding the immediate release of all detainees. The best numbers to call are the officers but if they are unreachable, please call the General Info line.
Ariel Prison General Info: +972 3 906 5444
Ariel Prison Officer - Ami Baran and Haim Fadlan: +972 3 906 5406 or +972 3 906 5416