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Peace Activists On Trial

Peace Activists On Trial

[Jerusalem] Local Palestinian peace activists, Mohammed Khalil Mansour and Khaled Fuad Salameh, remain in custody today after a brief hearing in which their lawyers were not given a chance to be present. The two were arrested at Saturday’s demonstration in A-Ram , along with seven others, five Israelis and two Palestinian youth. Though the Israelis were released the same evening, all four Palestinians are still in custody. The new trials for Mansour and Salameh are scheduled for Wednesday, June 30th at 1:30 pm at the Jerusalem Peace Court. The two are charged with throwing stones, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.

Mohammed Mansour, a thirty-five year old father of five, is a community organizer and coordinator with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Since he began working with the ISM, he was arrested at a non-violent demonstration against the destruction of Palestinian farmland for the path of the Apartheid Wall in Biddu, and has been detained multiple times by the Israeli military. During his arrest in A-Ram, Mansour was severely beaten, sustaining chest and back injuries and also a ruptured eardrum.

At today’s hearing, the State was awarded two additional days to interrogate all four Palestinians detainees. Though not yet confirmed, we expect the two youth, Nidal Mousa Salem Ka'abneh age 17 and Mohammed Ahmed Amr age 15 to also have their hearing on Wednesday.

This treatment follows a pattern of racial discrimination in which Palestinians, in comparison to non-Palestinians accused of the same infractions, are arrested more often, detained for longer periods of time, and subjected to harsher treatment subsequent to arrest. It is unconscionable that of the nine activists arrested at the A-Ram demonstration, the only ones to undergo interrogation or stand trial are the four Palestinians.

It’s so important that we, Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals, fill the courtroom on Wednesday and also protest outside the courthouse in support of Palestinian activists and against Israel’s racist policies and brutal crackdown on nonviolent resistance. Please come!

DATE: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 TIME: 1:30 PM

PLACE: Jerusalem Peace Court, Russian Compound Room 232, Judge Shelev-Gerter

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