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Arbitrary detention of human rights defender Mahmoud Nawajaa

Status: 
Arbitrary Detention
About the situation

On 2 August 2020, Mahmoud Nawajaa appeared via videoconference (due to COVID-19 restrictions) for a hearing in an Israeli military court near Jenin; the court ordered the human rights defender to be detained for an additional 15 days.

On 30 July 2020, several Israeli soldiers stormed the house of human rights defender Mahmoud Nawajaa and arrested him.

About Mahmoud Nawajaa

Mahmoud Nawajaa is a human rights defender, who  advocates for the rights of Palestinian people under the Israeli occupation. He is the general coordinator of the Palestinian National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee (BDS). The BDS Movement is an international movement founded in 2005, which has pioneered a non-violent mobilisaton against Israel’s occupation of Palestine through exerting social, economic and political pressure on the State. BDS seeks to hold Israel accountable for human rights abuses and other violations of international law, defends the ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees to family properties lost in the 1948 war and engages in advocacy and non-violent campaigning for Palestinian rights.

2 August 2020
Israeli military court orders additional 15 days' detention

On 2 August 2020, Mahmoud Nawajaa appeared via videoconference (due to COVID-19 restrictions) for a hearing in an Israeli military court near Jenin; the court ordered the human rights defender to be detained for an additional 15 days. No evidence or charges were presented at the hearing and none have been shared with his lawyer. At the hearing, Mahmoud Nawajaa rejected allegations by the Israeli Shin Bet (internal security/intelligence agency) that he belonged to any political group or provided any services to any of them. Such allegations are often made against Palestinian human rights defenders in military courts in order to secure their continued detention and interrogation. It has long been demonstrated1 and documented2 that Israeli security agents use methods amounting to torture against Palestinian prisoners and detainees. Mahmoud Nawajaa has not been permitted to speak to his attorney or his family.

 

1 See B'Tselem: https://www.btselem.org/topic/torture and Haaretz: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-style-torture-as-de...
2 See Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/israel...

31 July 2020
Arbitrary detention of human rights defender Mahmoud Nawajaa

On 30 July 2020, several Israeli soldiers stormed the house of human rights defender Mahmoud Nawajaa and arrested him.

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Mahmoud Nawajaa is a human rights defender, who  advocates for the rights of Palestinian people under the Israeli occupation. He is the general coordinator of the Palestinian National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee (BDS). The BDS Movement is an international movement founded in 2005, which has pioneered a non-violent mobilisaton against Israel’s occupation of Palestine through exerting social, economic and political pressure on the State. BDS seeks to hold Israel accountable for human rights abuses and other violations of international law, defends the ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees to family properties lost in the 1948 war and engages in advocacy and non-violent campaigning for Palestinian rights.
 
On 30 July 2020, at 3:30am, several Israeli soldiers with a police dog, stormed the house of human rights defender Mahmoud Nawajaa who was subsequently blindfolded, handcuffed and arrested. He was taken to to the interrogation centre of Al-Jalama prison, located in Israel, which is a breach of International Humanitarian Law, as the IV Geneva Convention prohibits transferring prisoners outside their territories. The prison authorities have informed  Mahmoud Nawajaa  that he well not be allowed to see his lawyer or family for four days, according to his lawyer.  The charges against Mahmoud Nawajaa are not known yet. The Israeli soldiers confiscated the mobile phones and laptops of Mahmoud Nawajaa and his wife upon storming his house.
The BDS movement believes that the arrest of human rights defender Mahmoud Nawajaa comes as a result of Palestinian civil society's peaceful work against the Israeli illegal annexation plan which aims to annex parts of the West Bank including the illegal Israeli settlements and parts of the Jordan Valley. Members of the BDS Movement  are reported to have  been regularly harassed by the Israeli forces.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned  aboutthe arbitrary arrest of human rights defender Mahmoud Nawajaa and  believes that his arrest is a result of his peaceful and legitimate human rights work.