Thousands from around the world have signed a petition on Change.org, calling for the unconditional release of highly regarded human rights defender, Muther Amira.
The Palestinian Social Worker and Human Rights activist. previously served as the Secretary-General of Palestinian Union of Social Workers & Psychologists (PUSWP).
He was arrested on the December 27 in the West Bank by Israeli Forces while peacefully protesting to defend the rights of Palestinian children and youth currently detained in Israeli military prisons, such as Ahed Tamimi.
Munther suffers from high blood pressure and is currently detained in Ofer prison, located in the West Bank, in bad conditions. He recently appeared in an Israeli military court at Ofer, which has over a 99% conviction rate, where his detention was extended.
The petition on Change.org states,
“Social Workers are human rights defenders, they stand up for peace, human rights and social justice. Munther Amira was standing up for basic social work values and principles. He was conducting his protest in a peaceful and non-violent way and should not have been arrested for his basic democratic right to free speech and to campaign for human rights concerns.
“We, Social Workers and Human Rights activists from all over the world, demand the unconditional release of our colleague Munther Amira.”
The International Federation of Social Workers advocated for his unconditional release as well. IFSW Human Rights Commissioner, Nigel Hall issued the following statement January 15:
“The IFSW Human Rights Commission calls for the immediate release of Munther Amira, a Palestinian Social Worker who was arrested on the 27th December while peacefully protesting to defend the rights of children who had been detained by Israeli authorities. Mr Amira has previously served as the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Union of Social Workers & Psychologists (PUSWP).
“Mr. Amira was standing up for basic social work principles. As noted by Rory Truell IFSW Secretary-General, Social workers in Palestine have an incredibly tough job trying to keep children safe from the occupying forces and the settlers. Very often social workers are arrested, shot and sometimes killed when they are performing duties that are consistent with social work values and principle of ‘respect for all people’s rights’.
“The Human Rights Commission has previously advocated against the detention of Palestinian children in Israeli jails. Even if children are deemed to have broken the law they should always receive age-appropriate special treatment by the authorities and not be treated as adults as required under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“Munther Amira was conducting his protest in a peaceful and non-violent way and should not have been arrested for his basic democratic right to free speech and to campaign for human rights concerns.
“The Israeli military court on 4th January extended his detention until Tuesday 9th January, after the military prosecution halted the court’s decision to release him. A member of Mr Amira’s defense committee has noted that the Israeli military prosecution is preparing a list of further indictments against him.
“The IFSW Human Rights Commission upholds that social workers are human rights defenders who stand up for peace, human rights and social justice. We support Mr Amira’s commitment to upholding the ethical principles of our profession and demand his immediate release.
“IFSW and the Human Rights Commission request our members in all countries to write to their Israeli embassies requesting Mr Amira’s release, stressing that the role of social work in situations of conflict is focused on building peace and reconciliation. The social work role in mediation and conciliation, building sustainable, inclusive communities should be respected and facilitated. The Commission also calls for all people to sign the online petition.”
Amira’s case is being highlighted along with other Palestinians languishing in Israeli prisons, including Israa Jaabis, who was severely burned in an accidental explosion and recieved inadequate healthcare before being imprisoned.
— Richard Hardigan (@RichardHardigan) January 20, 2018
Another Palestinian prisoner died January 19th as a direct result of medical neglect while in prison.
? BREAKING: The martyrdom of the prisoner Hussein Atallah from #Nablus, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison, suffering from #cancer & medical negligence in #Israel jails.#ApartheidIsrael #BDS pic.twitter.com/Ex8nXYloij
— Dr. Basem Naim (@basemn63) January 20, 2018
Serving a 35-year sentence, cancer patient Hussein Atalla died after receiving improper treatment in Ofer Prison in Israel.
Rights groups say that there are more than 6,500 Palestinian prisoners inside the Israeli jails, including at least 400 patients, who do not receive proper healthcare.
(PC, Social Media)