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'Prisoner of conscience' released on bail
Published Wednesday 25/04/2012 (updated) 28/04/2012 15:18
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File photo of Bassem Tamimi on trial at Israel's Ofer military court near
Ramallah. (MaanImages/PSCC, HO)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Non-violence activist Bassem Tamimi was released on bail late Tuesday after spending 13 months in prison, a popular committee said.

Tamimi, from Ramallah-district village Nabi Saleh, has been recognized as a human rights defender by the European Union and a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

He was detained by Israeli forces on March 24, 2011, and accused of organizing illegal demonstrations in the village, which holds weekly protests against seizure of their land by nearby Israeli settlement Halamish.

On Tuesday, an Israeli military court rejected the Military Prosecution's appeal against his release on bail, and released him on 12,000 shekel ($3,193) bail, the popular struggle coordination committee said.

Tamimi will not be able to return to his village, as bail conditions prescribe he remain inside the city of Ramallah, and he is under house arrest between Thursday and Sunday.

He will next appear in court on May 13, when the court will give its verdict on his case, committee spokesman Jonathan Pollack said.

Throughout his trial, Tamimi has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of the military court system that rules over Palestinians in the West Bank, and Israeli regulations that deem any gathering of more than 10 people an illegal demonstration.

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 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 Tamimi's home, which was built in 1965.
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1 ) Ido / occupied Palestine
25/04/2012 14:16
Enough with the Zionists and their PLO puppet state! The Palestinian people should stand on their own feet!

2 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
26/04/2012 11:00
And when will the two Palestinian dictatorships in Ramallah and Gaza release the hundreds of illegally held political prisoners? If you question Israel about arresting people, why are Abbas and Haniyeh not mentioned for the illegal arrest and torture of their political opponents? The world must wake up and realize that these two Palestinian governments are brutal Arab dictatorships like the others in the region - and they do not care about human rights of their people.

3 ) Colin Wright / USA
29/04/2012 03:54
Gotta love it. They held a non-violent activist for over a year without trial, he's now in exile, and they've demolished his house. ...and this really is pretty average. Just business as usual in the Light unto the Nations.
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