Monday, February 11, 2013

Palestinian political prisoner, Bassem Tamimi, freed from Israeli prison

Dear friends,
wonderful news.  Bassem Tamimi from Nabi Saleh was freed from Israeli prison on Sunday, 10 February 2013.

Bassem was arrested four months ago after participating in the first Palestinian BDS action in an illegal Israeli colony.  Bassem was arrested on October 24 during the demonstration inside Sha'ar Benyamin colony in the Occupied West Bank.  During the non-violent demonstration, Bassem was violently detained by Israeli occupation forces, who broke three of his ribs.  He was subsequently interrogated for participating in an "unauthorised" demonstration and falsely accused of assaulting a police officer.

Bassem's arrest came six months after he had been released from Israeli prison. He had been previously jailed for a year for playing a leading role in Nabi Saleh's non-violent popular resistance to Israel's occupation and apartheid.  During his one year impisonment, Bassem was recognised as a human rights defender by the European Union and a Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International.

At the time of his arrest in October, Nariman Tamimi, Bassem's wife, stated: "According to military law, Palestinians do't have the right to demonstrate - all protest is illegal.  An Israeli military judge told my husband that if he exercises his right to protest again, he will spend 17 months in prison.  Well, he wouldn't sit quietly at home, and now they want to try and punish him for that".

I have included photos below of Bassem's welcome home reception in Nabi Saleh.  I am so very happy to hear that my friend is home with his family and friends.

in solidarity, Kim

Bassem and Nariman - Photo by Abir Kopty
Bassem greets his wife Nariman - Photo by Keren Manor, Activestills
Bassem with wife, Nariman, at welcome home party - Photo by Oren Ziv, Activestills
Bassem with his children - Photo by Ashira Hakan 
Welcome home party for Bassem - Photo by Ashira Hakan

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