An Israeli military court has rejected an appeal against extending the detention of Hafez Omar, a Palestinian artist and organiser held incommunicado since his arrest on 13 March.
According to Addameer, Hafez – who was seized at his home in a pre-dawn raid – is “a committed organiser, artist and human rights campaigner, best known for his award winning artistic work, and his posters supporting the rights of Palestinians, especially of Palestinian prisoners.”
On the day of his arrest, “Israeli soldiers first detained and beat Hafez’s brother, before handcuffing Hafez at his Ramallah home and taking him away by force.” The next day, a military court extended his detention for an additional eight days.
Hafez has been prevented from seeing his lawyer since Israeli occupation forces detained him, and has also yet to be informed of the reasons for his arrest.
“The arrest of Hafez Omar is part of a systematic policy by Israeli occupation forces targeting Palestinian organisers, in order to suppress human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories,” stated Addameer, adding: “This policy is aimed at preventing Palestinians from confronting the daily injustices of the military occupation, and the struggle for their rights.”
Following the court’s rejection of the appeal, Hafez remains held at the Ashkelon interrogation centre.