FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Issa Amro | Youth Against Settlements Coordinator | firstname.lastname@example.org | 059 934 0549
Ariel Gold | CODEPINK Palestine Campaigner | email@example.com | 510 599 5330
Human Rights Defender Issa Amro Begins Israeli Military Court Trial for 18 Charges Related to his Human Rights Work
November 23, 2016 – At 10:00 am EET Human Rights Defender Issa Amro will begin trial in Ofer Military Court on 18 Charges dating back to 2010. The charges include instances such as participating in a march without a permit, entering a closed military zone, and obstructing a soldier. The indictment is a politically motivated attempt to shut down Amro’s human rights work in Hebron, Palestine. Given that the conviction rate for Israeli military court is over 99% Amro will likely be sentenced to prison time.
In 2016 Amro was honored by the Institute for Middle East Understanding for his human rights work. In 2013 he was declared a Human Right Defender by the European Union. In 2011 Amro was a guest of the US State Department as part of their International Visitor Leadership Program. In 2010 he was declared human rights defender of the year for Palestine by the UN Office for High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). In 2009 he won the One World media award for his involvement in the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem’s “Shooting Back” video documentation project. Amro has written for the Nation and Huffington Post.
Mr. Amro’s case is an example of widespread targeting of human rights activists in military court using old and exaggerated charges. On November 22, Amnesty International released a statement calling on Israel and the OPT to drop the charges against Amro. Amro’s lawyer, Ms. Gabby Lasky, told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that the sudden resuscitation of past charges for which Amro is charged “absolutely seems to be a matter of political persecution.”