Amnesty International Canada has joined the international campaign for the release of the young Palestinian woman taken from her home in the middle of the night by Israeli forces. There are over 300 other Palestinian children in Israeli jails. Read more…
Amnesty International Canada has called on Israeli authorities to release a 16-year-old Palestinian activist who could face up to 10 years in prison over an altercation with Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank last month, as the young woman appeared in an Israeli military court earlier this week.
“Nothing that Ahed Tamimi has done can justify the continuing detention of a 16-year-old girl. The Israeli authorities must release her without delay. In capturing an unarmed teenage girl’s assault on two armed soldiers wearing protective gear, the footage of this incident shows that she posed no actual threat and that her punishment is blatantly disproportionate.”
Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
Other Canadian organizations have raised their own voices. Two weeks ago, the Palestinian Canadian Congress wrote an open letter to Hon. Chrystia Freeland asking the minister to take up the Tamimi case with Israeli officials.
On January 3rd, a blog post in Rabble.ca by Judy Haiven of Independent Jewish Voices Canada, raised the alarm over Tamimi’s conditions of arrest and detention.
Individual Canadians have also begun calling on their own MP’s to take up the defense of Ms. Tamimi. Here is one example of such a letter which was copied to CTIP. It is reprinted, edited for length, with the author’s permission. The MP to whom it is addressed, Mr. Robert-Falcon Ouellette, is a Liberal member of Parliament and a member of the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Mr. Robert-Falcon Ouellette, MP
Happy New Year, sir. I am one of your constituents — a resident of Wolseley.
I am writing in regard to Israel’s detention of sixteen year-old Ahed Tamimi, a resident of the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Ahed was arrested at her home on the night of December 19, following a now well-publicized incident in which she kicked and slapped an Israeli soldier who had entered her family’s property and refused to leave.
Ahed has now been charged with assaulting an Israeli soldier, among other crimes against Israel’s permanent military occupation, and stands to receive a hefty sentence. Given the well-documented brutality Palestinian child and youth prisoners receive in Israeli detention, I am writing to ask you to speak with Minister Chrystia Freeland about Ahed’s case.
Israeli cabinet member Naftali Bennett has said Ahed should be jailed for life! I wish to have Ms. Freeland’s assurance that she will speak with the Israeli government about Ahed’s well-being.
For your information, I am the child of holocaust survivors. My grandmother didn’t perish in a Sobibor gas chamber — along with 250 members of the Kattenburg family — so some self-proclaimed Jewish state could freely and openly violate laws the international community enacted in response to Nazi Germany’s outrages.
Thank you for your time, and apologies for the length of this note. The least we can do is to call for her protection, and for adherence to the rule of law.
I anticipate a swift response to this note. I shall be following up.
David Kattenburg, Winnipeg
Because of social pressure, Tamimi’s arrest has already reached the floor of the British House of Commons. Alistair Burt, the UK’s minister of state for the Middle East, took her defense stating that “The truth is that the (Israeli) soldiers should not be there and the young woman should not have needed to do what she did.”
So far, the issue has not reached the Canadian House of Commons. But CTIP has heard from many others that they are writing their own Member of Parliament, and/or directly to Minister Freeland at firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps raising the issue with other MP’s will prompt a reluctant Ms. Freeland to make a statement.
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