Mohammad Othman is a human rights activist and a volunteer with the grassroots “Stop the Wall Campaign”. On 22 September 2009, Mohammad arrived at the Allenby Bridge Crossing. He was returning home, to the West Bank, via Jordan, from his travels in Norway where he attended several speaking events and advocacy meetings. He was taken into administrative custody where he remains despite never having been charged and no specific allegations made against him. Note that he is a human rights activist who is not suspected of any violence. The current administrative detention order expires on December 22/23, but even if he is released then, he will have spent three months in detention without any due process – a clear message of intimidation to Palestinians contemplating non-violent activism against the occupation.
More information on the Free Mohammed Othman blog.
Update: press release from Dr. Bill Wilson, SNP MSP for the West of Scotland, 1st December 2009
Israel’s attempt to silence human rights activist condemned in Scottish Parliament
Dr Bill Wilson, an SNP MSP for the West of Scotland, today lodged a second motion condemning Israel’s detention of human rights activist, Mohammad Othman, who recently had his administrative detention extended by a military court.
Dr Wilson said: “It’s easy to despair at Israel’s continued abuse of human rights on multiple fronts, and its determined attempts to shut down even peaceful voices of dissent such as that of Mohammad Othman, who was locked up after returning from a campaigning trip to Norway and is effectively facing indefinite unlawful detention. However, despair will not solve the problem, and it’s not the response of the many brave people – Palestinian, Israeli and of other nationalities – using peaceful means to fight the human rights abuses of the oppressive Israeli regime.
“This sort of behaviour on Israel’s part – flouting international norms of due legal process and civil liberties, such as those outlined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – can only make peace in Israel and Palestine more remote.
“For the sake of all in the region, I urge Israel to respect human rights and international obligations and norms, and to release Mohammad Othman, or, if there is any credible evidence that he is guilty of any serious offence, to offer him a speedy and fair trial.”