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Palestinian human rights activist Issa Amro arrested over a Facebook post/Letter to the Palestinian mission in the Hague

maandag 11 september 2017
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PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST ARRESTED OVERA FACEBOOK POST/LETTER TO THE PALESTINIAN MISSIONIN THE HAGUE

SEE ALSO


https://www.astridessed.nl/palestinian-human-rights-activist-issa-amro-arrested-over-a-facebook-postletter-to-the-palestinian-mission-in-the-hague/


TO THE PALESTINIAN MISSION IN THE HAGUE/THE NETHERLANDS
Mrs Rawan Sulaiman, ambassador
Subject: The arrest of mr Issa Amro by the security troops ofthe Palestinian Authority


''Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.''
ARTICLE 19, UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Documents/UDHR_Translations/eng.pdf

Dear mrs Rawan Suleiman,

It's with great indignation that I write to you about the arrest ofhuman rights defender and founder of Youth Against Settlements, mr Issa Amro bysecurity troops of the Palestinian Authority on 3 september 2017..His ''crime''?Using his fundamental right on freedom of expression.

According to my sources, mr Amro has been arrested by Palestinian security forces after he had criticised the arrest of the  Palestinian journalist, Ayman Naeem Qawasmi  in a Facebook post. [1]I'm glad to have learnt, that Mr Ayman Naeem Qawasmihas been released now. [2]
But referring to mr Amro I ask you:Since when is criticizing someone's arrest in a Facebookpost a criminal offense?It is mr Amro's basic right to state his opinion and your governmentshould be deeply ashamed for acting like this!
This scandalous act of your government is no isolated incident,but stems directly from a new "electronic crimes" law that limits freedom of expression online, [3] violating the basic right,to say or write what you think.
My source [Al Jazeera] further states, that under the''electronic crimes law'', anyone found guilty of acts online that disturb what is called "social harmony" faces up to 15 years of hard labour. [4]To say it frankly:This is crazy, dangerous and dictatorial and must stopat once!
Mrs Sulaiman, you doubtless know, that I am not alone in my indignation about the arrest of Mr Amro!

Human rights organization Amnesty Internationalhas called the arrest ''a shameless attack on freedom of expression''[5]

As I wrote earlier, your government's violating of free seech is no isolatedincident:In june 2017, at least 11 websites were blocked [6] and in august2017, Amnesty International concluded an alarming attackin the freedom of expression since the start of 2017 [7]:Journalists and activists were arbitrarily arrested, violentinterrogations took place as physical assaults. [8]

Mrs Sulaiman, I think I have made my point clear enough:
Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, asstated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights andthe international treaties and the Palestinian Authorityhas the obligation to respect and maintain that right.
So I urge you to put pressure on your government, notonly to release mr Issa Amro immediately, but to stopharrassing journalists, revoke the ''electronic crimes law''and maintain human rights.
The Palestinian people don't fight  the brutalIsraeli occupation and all its injustices that hard, to becomeoppressed by their ''own'' Palestinian government!
End the oppression of journalisst and fullfil yourinternational obligations!
That's what I demand from your government.
I expect your cooperation.

Kind greetings
Astrid EssedAmsterdam The Netherlands

NOTES


[1]

''On September 4, Associated Press sent out a report with a headline stating that Amro had been arrested for calling on Abbas to resign. This is INCORRECT.  The Facebook post Amro was arrested for criticized the Palestinian Authority for arresting a journalist, Ayman Qawasmi, who was indeed arrested for writing that Abbas should resign. Issa's Facebook post (screenshot below) just criticizes the arrest and calls for freedom of expression.

Screen_Shot_Issa.png



BREAKING:ISSA AMRO ARRESTED BY THE PA
http://www.yashebron.org/issa_ amro_arrested_by_the_pa?utm_ca mpaign=issa_arrest_pa&utm_medi um=email&utm_source=wpj



THE GUARDIANPALESTINIAN AUTHORITIES ARREST ACTIVIST IN GROWINGFREE SPEECH CRACKDOWN

https://www.theguardian.com/wo rld/2017/sep/05/palestinian-au thorities-arrest-activist-issa -amro-in-growing-free-speech-c rackdown



AMNESTY INTERNATIONALHUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST ARRESTED BY PALESTINIAN SECURITYFORCES OVER FACEBOOK POSTS4 SEPTEMBER 2017

https://www.amnesty.org/en/lat est/news/2017/09/human-rights- activist-arrested-by-palestini an-security-forces-over-facebo ok-posts/



[2]




''

MADA welcomes the release of Qawasmi and demands the release of Amr

Ramallah, 6/9/2017 The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) welcomes the release of Ayman Naeem Al-Qawasmi the chairman of Al-Hurriya Radio, who was arrested by the Palestinian Preventive Security on 3/9/2017.

 AL-Qawasmi said to MADA after he was released this morning: “I received a phone call from the Preventive Security Service in Hebron on Sunday at 1:30 pm, to go immediately to the Preventive Security office, after I arrived at their office; I was directly interrogated about the video that was published after the broke into Al-Hurriya Radio station, in which I said that the Palestinian president, the prime minister and the governor should resign if they can’t protect the   institutions.

They asked me about the reason for posting this video, I replied that it was published in an angry moment after the radio equipment was destroyed and confiscated by the occupation forces[1]. They actually understood my reasons. In the next day, the Legal Adviser came and wrote my statement, and I signed it. On the third day, the prosecution came and extended my detention 24 hours; until I was released this morning at 9:00 am without any conditions.

On the other hand, MADA Center demands the release of the activist Issa Ismail Amro, who was arrested on 3/9/2017, according to his brother Ahmed, who reported to MADA “A force from the Preventive Security Service came to our house in Hebron at about 11:30 pm. Issa was not at home. They called him and informed him to present himself at their headquarters for five minutes, but he replied that he will go there tomorrow. The next day at around 12:00 pm he headed to the headquarters of the preventive security service and did not return yet, according to lawyer Sulaiman al-Husseini, the preventive security service did not report any information about the reasons for the arrest and that Issa is still under interrogation, and that even the members of the preventive security service are unaware of the reason for his arrest. He also informed us that today 06/09/201 they extended his detention for 24 hours for further interrogation.

Amro, posted on his Facebook page before his arrest: “a ( woman) journalist was threatened by members of the security services after she posted the news of arresting Ayman Al-Qawasmi, I hope that all journalists spread this information as it 100% true, not a rumor”

MADA Center condemns the arrest of journalists and activists for expressing their opinions and demands an end to this policy.''


PALESTINIAN CENTER FOR DEVELOPMENT & MEDIA FREEDOMS
MADA WELCOMES THE RELEASE OF QAWASMI ANDDEMANDS THE RELEASE OF AMRO
http://www.madacenter.org/repo rt.php?lang=1&id=1739&category _id=6&year=2017



[3]






''Human rights groups are calling on the Palestinian Authority to suspend a new "electronic crimes" law that limits freedom of expression online.''

AL JAZEERARIGHTS GROUPS QUESTION PALESTINE'S ELECTRONIC CRIME LAW

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/ 2017/08/rights-groups- question-palestine-electronic- crime-law-170811200635926.html



[4]

''Anyone found guilty of acts online that disturb what the edict calls "social harmony" faces up to 15 years of hard labour.''
AL JAZEERARIGHTS GROUPS QUESTION PALESTINE'S ELECTRONIC CRIME LAW

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/ 2017/08/rights-groups- question-palestine-electronic- crime-law-170811200635926.html



[5]

''The arrest of a Palestinian human rights defender today who criticized the Palestinian authorities on Facebook is a shameless attack on freedom of expression, said Amnesty International''

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALHUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST ARRESTED BY PALESTINIAN SECURITY FORCESOVER FACEBOOK POSTS4 SEPTEMBER 2017

https://www.amnesty.org/en/lat est/news/2017/09/human-rights- activist-arrested-by-palestini an-security-forces-over-facebo ok-posts/



[6]

AL JAZEERAPALESTINIAN AUTHORITY BLOCKS 11 NEWS WEBSITES15 JUNE 2017

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/ 2017/06/palestinian-authority- blocks-eleven-news-websites-17 0615182034425.html



[7]

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALSTATE OF PALESTINE: ALARMING ATTACK ON FREEDOMOF EXPRESSION23 AUGUST 2017
DOWNLOAD STATEMENT IN LINK
https://www.amnesty.org/en/ documents/mde15/6983/2017/en/




[8]

''Since the start of 2017, Palestinian authorities in the West Bank have carried out scores of attacks against journalists and activists, subjecting them to arbitrary arrests, violent interrogations, confiscation of equipment, physical assaults and bans on reporting1''


AMNESTY INTERNATIONALSTATE OF PALESTINE: ALARMING ATTACK ON FREEDOMOF EXPRESSION23 AUGUST 2017

DOWNLOAD STATEMENT IN LINK
https://www.amnesty.org/en/ documents/mde15/6983/2017/en/