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Israel's Lawless Arrest of Ahmad Qatamish

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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Israel's Lawless Arrest of Ahmad Qatamish - by Stephen Lendman

On April 21, the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association expressed grave concern about Qatamish's arrest:

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"not only because (it's) motivated by his political opinions and beliefs and as such should be considered a case of arbitrary detention, but also because (he's) been (targeted by) Israeli authorities before on numerous occasions, notably" for long incarcerations without charge.

As a result, Addameer feels he'll again be administratively detained "without proper recourse to justice and without any legitimate means to defend himself."

Speaking on his behalf, Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Dr. Mustafa Barghouti called Israel's arrest "a shameless attempt at muzzling him in an unjustifiable attack on his freedom of expression."

A distinguished writer, scholar, academic, lecturer and activist, Qatamish earned his doctorate in political science. He's also an author of several books on political, philosophical and literary topics, as well as a respected speaker at local universities and research centers. 

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In 2010, he taught at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, the only Arab institution of higher learning in the divided city, established in 1984 offering degrees in fields ranging from law to technology as well as many other disciplines. 

Moreover, its 1998-established Center for Jerusalem Studies includes course work on interdisciplinary cultural heritage topics, as well as related seminars and symposiums from a Palestinian perspective.

Qatamish's latest ordeal began before dawn on April 21 when Israeli soldiers and intelligence officers arrested him, his wife, daughter, and two other female relatives (including a 14-year old child). He alone was taken to Beitunia's Ofer detention center.

His wife, Suha Barghouti, is an Addameer and Palestinian Red Crescent Society board member, as well as being affiliated with a Palestinian NGO Network Steering Committee. Heroic and outspoken like her husband, she calls his latest arrest:

"an attempt to silence his critical voice and prevent his compelling vision for emancipation and self-determination from spreading further in the Palestinian public."

As a result, she urged human rights organizations to exert pressure on his behalf to free him and do everything possible to assure his safety and well-being. It's no simple task in Israeli detention, known for its lawless brutality.

His daughter, Haneen, home on break from Cairo University, described her brief ordeal with Israeli soldiers, saying:

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"They tried to intimidate me by exploiting my deep agony over the idea of being denied my father again, but I firmly confronted them and reminded them of the fate of all colonial powers on our land. In response, their commander shouted that I was as 'obstinate' as my father."

Expressing support for a comrade, Gerarda Ventura, Euromed Platform of NGOs vice president, called Qatamish "one of the most sensitive and intellectual people I have ever met," especially in the struggle for "freedom, justice and peace."

First arrested in 1969, he was detained a few months and released, then rearrested in 1972 at which time he was imprisoned for four years, undergoing harsh treatment like other political prisoners. 

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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