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Palestinian clown released from Israel jail

A Palestinian circus performer who was held by Israel using its controversial administrative detention policy was released late last month, Amnesty International has reported.

Twenty-four-year-old Mohammad Abu Sakha was detained on 14December 2015 while crossing Zaatara military checkpoint near Nablus on his way to work in Birzeit village near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. He has never been charged or tried.

However, at a hearing on 5 December 2016 at the Israeli High Court, the judges told Mohammad's lawyer that secret "evidence" provided by the Israel Security Agency (ISA) supported the claim by security forces that Mohammad posed a "threat to the security of the State of Israel".

His lawyer says no new evidence was added to his wife since Mohammad's arrest in December 2015. "However, the system of administrative detention means that neither Mohammad nor his lawyer could review 'evidence' against him, and therefore were unable to defend the case," Amnesty said.

Read: Young Palestinians relate brutal experience of Israeli detention

Following news of his release on 31 August, Amnesty said it was "so happy" it's staff were "doing cartwheels".

Mohammad used to teach circus skills at the Palestinian Circus School in Birzeit, near Ramallah, where he specialises in working with children with learning difficulties.

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