Military court clears Tamimi of incitement charge
Published Sunday 20/05/2012 (updated) 22/05/2012 12:18
File photo of Bassem Tamimi on trial at Israel's Ofer military court near
Ramallah. (MaanImages/PSCC, HO)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- An Israeli military court on Sunday convicted a Palestinian human rights defender of taking part in demonstrations and solicitation to throw stones, but cleared him of the central charge of incitement.
Bassem Tamimi, a prominent non-violence activist from Ramallah-district village Nabi Saleh, was also cleared of charges that he obstructed justice and failed to attend legal summons, the Popular Struggle Committee said.
Tamimi was detained by Israeli forces on March 24, 2011. He was released on bail on April 24, 2012 but confined to the city of Ramallah and house arrest between Thursday and Sunday.
Ofer military court said he will be sentenced this week.
According to the popular committee, on learning of the verdict Tamimi said: "I spent 13 months in prison for exercising my right to protest, and have now been convicted based on the testimony of a 15 year-old who was instructed by his interrogators to incriminate me.
"I never had any illusions about the military court and its ability to serve justice -- it is, after all, an instrument of the occupation."
Tamimi has been recognized as a human rights defender by the European Union and a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.
The same military court on Sunday postponed a verdict on fellow Nabi Saleh activist Naji Tamimi, who was detained at a Nakba Day rally near West Bank village Nilin last Tuesday, a Ma'an correspondent said.
Naji had been released from a year in Israeli jail in March 2012.
Dozens of Palestinians gathered outside Ofer prison to support Naji and Bassem Tamimi on Sunday, the correspondent said.
Since protests began in Nabi Saleh in December 2009, Israeli forces have detained more than 80 residents, around 10 percent of the entire village, according to the Popular Struggle Committee.
Two of Bassem Tamimi's sons have been injured by Israeli soldiers at protests, and his wife has been detained twice. Israeli's Civil Administration has ordered the demolition of his home, which was built in 1965.