"The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) condemns the further arrest of colleagues in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. These incidents follow the arrest of social worker Munther Amira, taken during a protest against child prisoners held by Israel on 27th December.
Muhammed Lutfi was arrested on the 9th January, while Hassan Faraj and Wesam Hamdan were also detained on the 12th January at a peaceful rally demanding the release of child detainees and their colleague, Munther Amira.
ANZASW wishes to express solidarity with all social workers currently held by Israel and calls for their unconditional release. This includes Nidal Abu Aker and Ghassan Zawahra who have been in administrative detention since 2014.
No one should be detained for simply exercising their right to peaceful assembly and protest as protected under Article 20 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Social workers in Palestine support vulnerable people, including many children, in difficult circumstances, living with the ongoing effects of life under occupation; acts of peaceful protest against the mistreatment of children is both legitimate and principled.
ANZASW calls on its colleagues in national
Social Work associations and Unions to similarly condemn the
continuing detention of Social Workers in Palestine and to
call for their immediate