An Israeli occupation court on Tuesday sentenced Gaza humanitarian worker Mohammed al-Halabi to 12 years imprisonment, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Hassan Abed-Rabbu, the spokesperson for the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission, said that the Beersheba district court sentenced the World Vision’s employee to 12 years imprisonment.
Al-Halabi has been on trial for six years over “terror” financing charges based on secret evidence and an alleged coerced confession.
Absolutely devastated to hear this unjust 12 yr sentence for @WorldVision’s Palestinian aid worker Mohammed Al Halabi. An absolute profound miscarriage of justice, but what can you expect from the Israeli ‘justice’ system. My @hrw colleague @OmarSShakir’s full statement ⬇️ https://t.co/35qrnKOsR3 pic.twitter.com/p150lmICXB
— Sophie McNeill (@Sophiemcneill) August 30, 2022
World Vision (WV) expressed in a press statement “deep disappointment” over the sentence.
“The 12-year sentence announced today in the trial of Mohammad El Halabi is deeply disappointing and in sharp contrast to the evidence and facts of the case,” the statement read.
Multiple international audits have found no evidence that the father of five, hailed as a “humanitarian hero” by the United Nations before his arrest, diverted funds to armed groups in Gaza.
The UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights has “continuously raised serious concerns” in al-Halabi’s case over “cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment that may amount to torture.”
— Ramzy Baroud (@RamzyBaroud) June 17, 2022
The UN office has also stressed the “lack of fair trial guarantees, including disregard of the presumption of innocence and lack of impartiality of the court, extensive use of secret evidence and classification of court proceedings undermining the right to a defense.”
Israel’s only piece of evidence is an alleged confession made “seemingly under duress” that the prosecution has referred to in public hearings, while the content of this alleged confession is being kept secret from the public, the UN office adds.
(WAFA, PC, SOCIAL)