Amnesty Canada takes up the issue of Ahed Tamimi, a 16 year old Palestinian girl in Israeli jail

amnesty tamimi

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.”

Magdalena Mughrabi,

Deputy Director,

Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.


Posters calling for freedom for Tamimi have appeared on the streets of London, England

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 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 gaza

Mural painting in Gaza. Young Ahed has quickly become an icon of the new Palestinian resistance – young, female, non-violent and fearless. 

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.

Regards …

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 Perhaps raising the issue with other MP’s will prompt a reluctant Ms. Freeland to make a statement.


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  1. Thank you for this Peter. Given the hostile response of the Israeli government to so many groups who, like Amnesty Canada, have been speaking out against this program of locking away children for youthful acts of defiance against Israeli military hostilities toward Palestinians one can assume Amnesty International and all it’s affiliates will soon be banned from entering Israel

    I seem to remember South Africa, when it was deeply into its Apartheid era also banned anyone who spoke out against that regime’s abuse of blacks, but also that with each group speaking out the knot in the noose around that troubled country grew only tighter.

    So some 300 children now languish in Israeli prisons, apparently according to some these children as so dangerous it’s justification for sending heavily armed Israeli soldiers into residential Palestinian neighbourhoods lest a 17 year old girl kick out at or slap a weaponized Israeli agent intruding on her home.


  2. Amnesty is known for its members writing letters to prisoners. This is the address to write to Ahed in jail:

    Ahed Tamimi
    HaSharon Prison
    Ben Yahuda
    PO Box 7
    40 330 Israel

    1. This whole issue is so sad and so wrong. How can a dis teen year old girl assault an adult agent of death? The Israeli state is facing to the tune of a different drummer, as it is of old.

  3. Congratulation to Amnesty Canada for taking on on the injustice , imprisoned and torture of children by Israel. Starting with Ahed and following to all other children is an humanitarian action to be celebrated. Thanks.

  4. It is incredible to what level Israelis sunk. Kidnapping children in the middle of the night, taking them away without knowledge of parents or lawyers, torturing them, denying bail, trying them in military court, depriving education and systematically killing them for decades.
    It is like Israel is a one huge pool of excrement which most Israelis are in it up to their neck for so long that they can no longer smell the stench.

  5. Sixteen year old Ahed Tamimi has become a worldwide poster child representing the horrible abuses by the Israeli military against the indigenous Palestinians of the Occupied Territories. David Kattenburg puts it so well in his letter (above) when he says: My grandmother didn’t perish in a Sobibor gas chamber… so some self-proclaimed Jewish state could freely and openly violate laws the international community enacted in response to Nazi Germany’s outrages.
    It’s hard to disagree with that.

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