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Israeli military trial of Palestinian human rights defender to begin

Activists in Palestine and around the world are rallying support for a well-known Palestinian human rights defender whose military trial is set to begin tomorrow.

Issa Amro, founder and coordinator of the Hebron-based Youth Against Settlements (YAS), will appear in an Israeli military court facing 18 charges dating back to 2010.

The conviction rate for Palestinians in Israel’s military court system is more than 99 per cent.

On the eve of the trial, activists are seeking to raise awareness of Amro’s plight and Israel’s crackdown on dissent – including Palestinians who use nonviolence and popular resistance strategies to support and defend their local community.

A Thunderclap social media campaign will take place today backed by US-based groups Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace and US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

In 2010, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) declared Amro Palestine’s human rights defender of the year, while in 2013 Issa was declared a Human Right Defender by the European Union.

Amnesty International has condemned Israel’s attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders, saying Issa and others have been “arrested solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression”.

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  • Paul de Rooij

    This article refers to AmnestyIntl as if they were some paragon of justice. In reality, when it comes to Palestinians, AI is nowhere to be seen. AI has public lists of “prisoners of conscience” for Cuba, Syria… but not for Palestinians. As a matter of fact, AI doesn’t acknowledge ANY Palestinian prisoner of conscience. If Issa Amro ends up in prison, don’t count on Amnesty to do anything for him.

    • Mike Abramov

      I agree with you. AI used to host many pro-Palestine meetings. Now, they have backed off because most of their meetings created contestable statements.

  • Paul de Rooij

    This article refers to AmnestyIntl as if they were some paragon of justice. In reality, when it comes to Palestinians, AI is nowhere to be seen. AI has public lists of “prisoners of conscience” for Cuba, Syria… but not for Palestinians. As a matter of fact, AI doesn’t acknowledge ANY Palestinian prisoner of conscience. If Issa Amro ends up in prison, don’t count on Amnesty to do anything for him.