Illegally detained Friends of the Earth campaigner freed after four weeks
Jamal Juma’, Friends of the Earth Palestine campaigner, was released today (13 January) after being detained without charge by the Israeli authorities for four weeks.
Friends of the Earth groups around the world wrote to their embassies asking them to demand Jamal’s release, which in the end forced the Israeli authorities to release him.
On the evening of 15 December, Jamal was summoned by the Israeli authorities for interrogation at Qalandiya military center. Two and a half hours later, he was brought handcuffed to his home and in the presence of his three young children and his wife, the army searched his home for two hours and confiscated his computer and cell phones. Jamal was then taken to an Interrogation Center in West Jerusalem.
Jamal was seized in the presence of his family with soldiers intimidating and harrassing them. Before leaving the home one soldier threatened Juma’s wife that she would only see her husband again through a prisoners’ exchange.
For the entire period Jamal was detained with no explanation for his arrest. According to Israeli law applying to Israeli citizens, Jamal Juma, as a permanent resident of Jerusalem and Jerusalem ID holder, should have been brought before a court within 24 hours of his arrest.
Jamal’s Israeli jailers blindfolded him during his only brief meeting with his lawyer several days ago. The judge refused to allow observers from European Consulates and the Habitat International Coalition from entering the court.
Jamal, 47, is active in campaigning against the Israel separation wall and other Israeli actions that undermine Palestinians’ access to land and water.
Juliet Swann, Head of Campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “Friends of the Earth Scotland condemns this assault against Friends of the Earth Palestine and its campaigner by Israeli security forces.
“As part of the Friends of the Earth International network, we believe in and campaign for a just society worldwide where environmental and social justice can only be attained through genuine democracy.
“We stand with Friends of the Earth Palestine at this time, recognising the rights of Palestinian people to access their lands, its waters, natural resources and environmental spaces, and call on the Israeli authorities to apologise to Jamal Juma’ and compensate him for this mistreatment.
“Friends of the Earth Palestine is a peaceful organisation committed to the protection of the environment through supporting peaceful resistance to the occupation and the ongoing development of the wall. To use scare tactics such as arbitrary arrest of campaigners like Jamal to discourage their work should be a cause of international outrage.”
Friends of the Earth Scotland understands the expansion of the wall continues to separate the Palestinian people and membership of Friends of the Earth Palestine from their ancestral agricultural lands, watering wells and community environmental spaces.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
T: 0131 243 2719
Notes to editors
Friends of the Earth Scotland is the country’s leading independent environmental campaigning organisation, and is the only organisation in Scotland that is working for environmental justice, campaigning for the planet and its people. www.foe-scotland.org.uk
Other Friends of the Earth International partners signed up to demand the release of Jamal Juma include:
Friends of the Earth Australia BELA FoE Bangladesh WALHI FoE Indonesia FoE Japan SAM FoE Malaysia ProPublic FoE Nepal Friends of the Earth New Zealand PENGON FoE Palestine CELCOR FoE Papua New Guinea LRC/KsK FoE Philippines KFEM FoE South Korea CEJ FoE Sri Lanka HABURAS FoE Timor Leste