27 July 2011
Soldiers have stormed the Freedom Theatre of Jenin, whose co-founder Juliano Mer-Khamis was slain earlier this year.
URGENT PRESS RELEASE From The Freedom Theater Foundation, Jenin, Palestine
Special Forces of the Israeli Army attacked the Freedom Theater in Jenin Refugee Camp at approximately 03:30 this morning. Ahmad Nasser Matahen, a night guard and technician student at the theater woken up by heavy blocks of stone hurled at the entrance of the theater. As he opened the door he found masked and heavily armed Israeli Special Forces around the theater.
Ahmed says that the army threw heavy blocks of stone at the theater, "they told me to open the door to the theater. They told me to raise my hands and forced me to take my pants down. I thought my time had come, that they would kill me. My brother that was with me was handcuffed."
The location manager of The Freedom Theater, Adnan Naghnaghiye, was arrested and taken away to an unknown location together with Bilal Saadi a member of the board of The Freedom Theater. When the general manager of the theater Jacob Gough from the UK and the co-founder of the theater Jonatan Stanczak from Sweden arrived to the scene they were forced to squat next to a family with four small children surrounded by about 50 heavily armed Israeli soldiers.
Jonatan says: Whenever we tried to tell them that they are attacking a cultural venue and arresting members of the theater we were told to shut up and they threatened to kick us, I tried to contact the civil administration of the army to clarify the matter but the person in charge hung up on me."
For more information please contact: jacobllyr AT hotmail.co.uk
Urgent, Please the Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren 202.364.5500 to demand the IDF cease and desist its attack on The Freedom Theatre and to release the detained staff immediately.