An Israeli military court has jailed a Palestinian activist and Amnesty ‘prisoner of conscience’ for six months, sparking widespread condemnation.
On Monday, Ofer Military Court sentenced Munther Amira, head of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee in the occupied West Bank, to six months in jail plus a suspended sentence of five years and a fine.
According to reports, Israeli prosecutors levelled a dozen charges against Amira, including “throwing stones, organizing and participating in unpermitted marches, and throwing an incendiary device towards soldiers [a reference to a tear gas canister]”.
.@IsraelinUSA Munther Amira is a Prisoner of Conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally. His 'crime'? Peacefully protesting the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territories and all the human rights violations that go with it. #HumanRights #Israel
— AIUSA Israel/OPT/PA (@IOTPA) March 13, 2018
Amira was convicted on four counts relating to his participation in demonstrations, including organizing demonstrations without the authorization of the Israeli military commander in the West Bank.
Amira was arrested by Israeli occupation forces on December 27, 2017, while peacefully participating in a protest in Bethlehem, calling for the release of activists Ahed and Nariman Tamimi.
Amnesty International described Amira as a “Palestinian prisoner of conscience”, whose treatment constitutes “a blatant and appalling attempt to intimidate those who peacefully protest against Israel’s occupation”, and urged Israeli authorities “immediately release” him.
1| Munther Amira, a prominent Palestinian #HumanRightsDefender, spent months in #Israel's military #prison and has now been sentenced by Israel's military court to half a year in prison.https://t.co/alYJKkp4tI #hrd
— Tali (@TaliShapiro) March 14, 2018
“By sentencing Munther Amira to six months in prison for his peaceful participation in protests, the Israeli authorities continue to show contempt for their obligations to protect the rights of Palestinians living under their occupation”, said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Yet again, the Israeli authorities are responding to peaceful protest with arbitrary imprisonment. Instead of unlawfully punishing Munther and other Palestinians who peacefully challenge the harsh reality of the ongoing occupation, the Israeli authorities must remember their legal obligations as the occupying power”, she continued.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)