Fifty days have passed since his detention, but Mohammad Othman is still in prison. The Israeli government has given no reason for his arrest. And things are getting worse. We’ve learned that Mohammad is now incommunicado — even from his own lawyers. Under these circumstances, there is reason to be seriously concerned about his well-being.
Thanks to you, we have generated about 10,000 emails of support, asking President Obama to demand that Israel release Mohammad. So far the President that could not deliver a settlement freeze has not delivered Mohammad’s freedom either. Only Israel holds the key to his jail cell. But you and I hold the key to keeping his name in the public eye.
The more people talk about Mohammad Othman, the sooner his unjust detention will be over. That’s why I am asking you to keep up the pressure. Pick up the phone and call US Secretary Hillary Clinton.
Mohammad was detained on September 22 by Israeli authorities when returning to the West Bank after a trip to Norway, where he advocated for boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) to pressure Israel to abide by international law. Since his detention, he has endured long interrogations and solitary confinement.
Israeli authorities have transferred him to a different prison and forbidden him from seeing his lawyer. According to Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, there is reason to believe that Mohammad Othman’s transfer to the Ohalei Keidar prison in Beersheba was intended to exert further pressure on him. They may be placing him in so-called “collaborators’ cells,” where detainees are often beaten, punched, threatened and exposed to psychological pressure if they refuse to talk to other prisoners who are detained in the same cells and who are typically collaborating with Israeli military authorities.
Mohammad should be set free right now.
Mohammad Othman went to jail for advocating for BDS. If you are in the US, you can do it without paying such a heavy price. Join the Campus BDS Conference at Hampshire College (Nov 20-22). There’s more info here: http://www.hsjp.org/CampusBDS2009/
Jewish Voice for Peace