Sixteen-year-old Arrested During Weekly Protest Against Settlements
(New York) –Amnesty International demanded the immediate release from custody today of the 16-year-old son of Bassem Tamimi, a detained Palestinian rights activist and prisoner of conscience in the occupied West Bank, after the son was himself arrested by Israeli soldiers during the regular weekly protest against the encroachment of Israeli settlers onto Palestinian land.
Wa’ed Tamimi was arrested along with four activists during the demonstration on Friday afternoon in the West Bank village of al-Nabi Saleh northwest of Ramallah.
"Today's arrest of Wa'ed Tamimi while he was walking peacefully in his village points to the continuing harassment of activist Bassem Tamimi, his family, and the community of al-Nabi Saleh by Israeli military forces," said Ann Harrison, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa deputy director. "This harassment must stop."
"Wa'ed Tamimi and the four others arrested in al-Nabi Saleh today must be allowed access to lawyers and should be released immediately unless they are to be charged with a recognizably criminal offense. His father Bassem is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for peacefully protesting Israel's illegal settlement expansion, and must be released immediately and unconditionally."
Nariman Tamimi told Amnesty International that she witnessed her son's arrest: "I saw him being dragged violently by a soldier who immediately put him in a jeep," she said. "Right now I am very tired and worried, and I am not sure what to do."
Wa’ed Tamimi was taken to the police station in Sha’ar Benyamin settlement north of Ramallah.
Bassem Tamimi has been detained since his arrest on October 24 following a non-violent demonstration in a supermarket in the settlement of Sha’ar Benjamin. He faces a further prison sentence after appearing before the Ofer Military Court on Wednesday.
All Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal under international law. Amnesty International is calling for their construction and expansion to stop as a first step towards removing the Israeli civilians living there.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.