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Palestinian professor: Extradition attempt is American piracy

Abdul Halim Al-Ashqar [Twitter]

Palestinian professor Abdul Halim Al-Ashqar has described his kidnapping and the attempt by the American FBI to hand him over to  Israel as American “piracy” and a violation of the US law.

Following his parole from US prison, Al-Ashqar told the Palestinian Information Centre that what happened to him makes him cautious about the US.

He saluted the Palestinian people and all the free people around the world who had stood up with him, praising the role of the Palestinian media and the defence team in changing the course of the case after serving his 11-year detention period.

Al-Ashqar said that the US authorities had charged him with “contempt and obstruction of justice” after refusing to testify against activists and Islamic institutions in the United States.

He further explained that what had happened with him and the attempt to hand him over to Israel was an effort to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, amid the Israeli elections.

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Tracking Device

Al-Ashqar explained that after his release, the US authorities put a GPS device on him, and pointed out that his family has been seeking to obtain a visa to be with him.

The US authorities detained Professor Al-Ashqar after he was released and served an 11-years in prison for refusing to testify against fellow human rights activists and supporting the rights of the Palestinian people, according to his family.

The US authorities tried to hand over Al-Ashqar to the Israeli authorities by deporting him by a private aeroplane to Ben-Gurion Airport. However, a judicial verdict that the professor’s lawyers succeeded in obtaining prevented his extradition to the Israeli occupation upon his arrival at the airport.

The family of the Palestinian professor expressed regret over the authority and its diplomatic circles’ “suspicious” position on the issue of the arrest of Al-Ashqar and his rendition to Israel.

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“I sought, in a personal and semi-official manner, with official circles in the Palestinian Authority, to obtain a clear position on the issue of my brother who had been held in US prisons and his latest developments and escalation of its case,” said Moayed Al-Ashqar, brother of professor Abdul Halim.

Abdul Halim’s brother explained that he did not receive any answer from those bodies, saying: “On the contrary, I could tell from the officials that they do not know about him and how he had been captured. ‘We did not hear anything, did not see anything, did not watch anything, and nothing has reached us about him’.”

“‘I do not know.’ Is this position dodging the truth under the security cover, or is it really a lack of interest and indifference as we are used to in some issues?” Moayed wondered.

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