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Human rights defender Jasser Jaser sentenced, charges against members of The Coalition of Civilized Demand for Fair Palestinian Telecom Sector

Status: 
Sentenced
About the situation

On 1 June 2020, the Magistrate Court of Ramallah charged human rights defender Jasser Jaser of ‘transmitting insulting news’ and sentenced him to three months’ imprisonment. He was later released on bail.

About Jasser Jaser

Jasser JaserJasser Jaser is a Palestinian human rights defender and a member of The Coalition of Civilized Demand for Fair Palestinian Telecom Sector (‘Bekfi ya shrikat alitisalat’ - Enough Communication Companies), a movement which was established to demand fair competition in the Telecom sector in Palestine and to defend the economic rights of Palestinians. The movement advocates against the continuous rise in telecommunication costs and Paltel Telecommunications Group’s monopoly over the industry in Palestine.

9 June 2020
Human rights defender Jasser Jaser sentenced, charges against members of The Coalition of Civilized Demand for Fair Palestinian Telecom Sector

On 1 June 2020, the Magistrate Court of Ramallah charged human rights defender Jasser Jaser of ‘transmitting insulting news’ and sentenced him to three months’ imprisonment. He was later released on bail.

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Jasser Jaser is a Palestinian human rights defender and a member of The Coalition of Civilized Demand for Fair Palestinian Telecom Sector (‘Bekfi ya shrikat alitisalat’ - Enough Communication Companies), a movement which was established to demand fair competition in the Telecom sector in Palestine and to defend the economic rights of Palestinians. The movement advocates against the continuous rise in telecommunication costs and Paltel Telecommunications Group’s monopoly over the industry in Palestine.

On 30 May 2020, Jasser Jaser was arrested by plain clothed police officers with no arrest warrant and brought to the General Investigation Department in Ramallah, where he was interrogated without the presence of his lawyer. He was arrested regarding social media posts in which he defended the economic rights of Palestinians, and criticised the telecommunication company’s increase in prices. On 31 May 2020, the human rights defender was transferred to the department of the Public Prosecutor, but was not interrogated any further. On 1 June 2020, the Magistrate Court of Ramallah charged the human rights defender with ‘transmitting insulting news’ and sentenced him to three months’ imprisonment. The court released Jasser Jaser on a bail of 90 Jordanian Dinar (approximately 110 Euro). The defender has submitted an appeal against his sentence.

On 3 June 2020, the Public Prosecutor summoned three other members of The Coalition of Civilized Demand for Fair Palestinian Telecom Sector, Jihad Abdo, Ezz El-Din Zaalol, and Mousa Al-qaisa. The three human rights defenders were charged with ‘defamation and insulting’ the telecommunication company.

That same day, the Lawyers for Justice group, which has been working on cases of the movement members, held a press conference on the harassment of the human rights defenders. Members of the Palestinian Preventive Security (PPS) forces surveilled the venue where the press conference took place.

Members of The Coalition of Civilized Demand for Fair Palestinian Telecom Sector have been frequently harassed by the Palestinian authorities. They have been summoned for investigation many times, and several members have in the past been placed under preventive detention.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned regarding the sentencing of human rights defender Jasser Jaser, and the charges against movement members Jihad Abdo, Ezz El-Din Zaalol, and Mousa Al-qaisa. It believes that it is in direct reprisal for their peaceful and legitimate human rights work in defence of economic rights for Palestinians.