Amnesty urges Israel to free Palestinian activist
JERUSALEM — Amnesty International on Thursday called on Israel to release Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi “immediately and unconditionally,” after he was again arrested during a protest in the West Bank.
The London-based rights group said in a statement that Tamimi, who has been acknowledged by the European Union as a human rights defender, was the victim of a “campaign of harassment, intimidation and arbitrary detention,” by the Israeli military.
He was arrested on October 24 during a flashmob demonstration against Israeli occupation, in an Israeli-owned supermarket adjacent to Geva Binyamin settlement, north of Jerusalem.
“Once again, Bassem Tamimi is being held solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and assembly. We believe he is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally,” Amnesty said.
Tamimi was sentenced by an Israeli military court in May to 30 months in jail for protesting illegally and encouraging youths to throw stones.
As he had already served 13 months, the remainder was suspended for five years, with the judge saying the sentence would be activated if Tamimi took part in any “public disorder.”