Two Israeli human rights defenders arrested under gag order

A Statement From Anonymous Israeli Activists:

We would like to alert you to an ominous development in Israel. Having denied Palestinians under Occupation their rights to any form of political protest, the Israeli government is now in the process of doing the same to Israeli citizens who support the Palestinian cause. Israeli police have suddenly thrown two Israeli activists in prison, denied them legal representation, and issued a gag order barring any discussion of their cases in Israel.

Last week they came after our friend Ezra Nawi, and as this week begins, they snatched another prominent dissident (anonymous as yet, for legal reasons); both of them have been indispensable in the struggle for the survival of Palestinian communities in the South Hebron Hills. As of this writing, one friend remains consigned to prison without any representation, and Nawi has been remanded for a week and is still being held on trumped-up charges after 4 days’ barred access to a lawyer.

These arrests are not isolated incidents but the latest in an orchestrated campaign against dissenting voices supporting Palestinian rights. In recent months the Israeli government has taken new steps to demonize, deny funding access, and now literately threaten with imprisonment, those of us who oppose its criminal policies. And while these violations of Nawi’s rights are no more severe than the routine violation of the rights of Palestinians in countless ways, they do however signal a new stage in Israel’s practice of violently crushing dissent and resistance.

This gag order in particular sets a precedent. If it goes unnoticed, the nearly impossible task of influencing our government, may well become completely impossible.

Again: The Israeli government has been holding our comrades incommunicado, and we are not even allowed to tell you about it. We need your help.

Please do what you can:

1. Contact the Israeli embassy in your country to demand the immediate release of the two Israeli activists and an end to persecution of Palestinian and Israeli human rights defenders (see below for details);

2. Contact your elected representatives to protest the arrest;

3. Please support the struggle to which these Israeli activists devote themselves, by funding the legal expenses for Ezra and for other activists, both Palestinians and Israelis. Donate here and/or send a letter (sample letter/background below). Find the address of your local consulate here, or in the USA contact: * fax 1 202 3645607 * phone 1 202 3645500 * fax +1 212 4995355 * phone +1 212 4995000




To: The Israeli Consulate General

Subject: Protest the arrest of Ezra Nawi, and the suppression of the freedom of expression

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have just learned that the well known Israeli peace activist Ezra Nawi and an Israeli ally of his have been arrested in Israel and been denied access to a lawyer for days on end. Such practices are a violation of the most basic human rights and minimal standards of due legal process. The treatment of Mr. Nawi underscores the urgent need to end the persecution of activists like him as well as the countless Palestinian prisoners in the separate court system which Israel uses to prosecute and imprison Palestinians.

I urge you to release Ezra Nawi, and end the oppression of Palestinians and the theft of their lands.



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