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Ashton ‘concerned’ by anti-wall leader’s conviction
BETHLEHEM — EU foreign affairs and security chief Catherine Ashton said Tuesday she was concerned by the conviction of a Palestinian anti-wall campaign leader by an Israeli military court on charges of incitement and organizing demonstrations.
“The EU considers Abdallah Abu Rahmah to be a Human Rights Defender committed to non violent protest against the route of the Israeli separation barrier through his West Bank village of Bil’in,” Ashton said in a statement.
Ashton said she was further deeply concerned that “at the possible imprisonment of Mr Abu Rahmah is intended to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest against the existence of the separation barriers in a non violent manner.”
The High Representative added that the EU considers the route of Israel’s wall where it is built on Palestinian land to be illegal, and that it maintained a presence at all of Abu Rahmah’s court hearings.
Abu Rahmah was detained on 10 December 2009 during a night raid. According to his supporters, Abu Rahmah’s conviction was based only on testimonies of minors who were arrested in the middle of the night and denied legal counsel despite significant ills in their questioning.
International Solidarity Movement
Abdallah’s outrageous conviction today will be followed by a sentence in the coming weeks. The amount of pressure we will be able to generate in this time could influence Abdallah’s sentence, but will also make clear to Israeli authorities that the repression of the popular struggle does have a political price.
Please use the below template letters prepared by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee to ask your Minister of Foreign Affairs to send an official inquiry to the Israeli government about Abdallah. Demand that your country apply pressure on Israeli officials to release Abdallah Abu Rahmah and stop targeting popular struggle.