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Political Persecution!

7. March 2004

Detention of the general secretary of Abnaa el Balad (Sons of the Land) and his comrades

Press release

On February 7 were arrested the secretary general of the movement Abnaa el Balad (Sons of the Land), comrade Muhamad Kanaane, as well as comrades Husam Kanaane and Sahar Abdou. On February 12 the same happened to comrade Yusuf Abu Ali. Together with the detentions, brutal searches were carried out in their houses, especially in the houses of Muhamad Kanaane, where his mother, wife and 14-years-old son were beaten by the Israeli police. In the night of February 7 a large groups of cops broke into the locals of the movement in the town of Arabeh and in the city of Haifa, destroying everything in search of “evidence.” Books and journal were thrown to the floor and vandalized with oil and liquid soap.

The prisoners were kept in isolation and subjected to tortures. During all the interrogations they were not allowed to contact a lawyer. They were not even allowed to appear in court in the many requests for the prolongation of their arrest, all based on “secret material” the lawyers were not allowed to see. This was done in order to obtain, by means of what in any civilized country would be considered illegal methods, false “confessions” involving them in violations of “state security.” During all this time the “investigation” was carried out under absolute secrecy: all reference to it in the media was forbidden, the detainees were held in secret prisons whose location is unknown, and the courts acted as mere fig leaves for the police inquisition. Now the state attorney is indicting the Abnaa ElBallad secretary general Muhamad Kanaane and his brother Husam. Sahar Abdou and Yusuf Abu Ali were freed without charges after prolonged interrogations.

Abnaa el Ballad is a democratic political movement whose aim is to defend the rights of the Palestinian population within the boundaries of the Green Line and preserve its identity and rights against the regime of oppression, discrimination and ethnic cleansing. Because of this, during our 35 years of existence, the movement has been continually persecuted by the Zionist state. Its leaders and activists have suffered prison, torture, censorship, administrative detentions, confinement orders, firings and endless other forms of persecution. The new wave of arrests and the attempt to incriminate the secretary general of the movement and the comrade with false accusations is part of the attack of the Israeli racist Apartheid regime against the Arab population in general. It is in this context that the growing Zionist declarations about the “demographic danger” must be seen. They are no longer satisfied with the usual oppression and discrimination, and are therefore preparing the ground for a new mass transfer of Arab population. As part of this plan there has been a massive wave of house demolitions in the Negev Desert, the Triangle Zone between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and the Galilee. The organizations of the Arab population are under attack precisely in order to leave them without any possibility of defending themselves. The Arab Knesset members and all the Palestinian political and social organizations are being constantly de-legitimized, slandered and persecuted. The leaders of the Islamic Movement (Northern Section) have been in jail for 10 months already for giving humanitarian aid to the victims of the Zionist occupation in the 1967-occupied territories. Now the Zionists want to strike the leadership of Abnaa elBalad.

In spite of the repression and persecutions, and of the antidemocratic laws of the state of Israel, which would do any dictator in the world proud, the Abnaa elBallad movement will continue to act in the narrow framework dictated by the Zionist laws. We do it though we know that the Israeli authorities will use any pretext to curtail our liberty of expression and prevent us from showing a way out of the dead end of racism, war and oppression to which they are leading us all. In spite of the racist incitation against us, in spite of the Zionist regime`s attempt to use the Jewish population in order to expel and oppress the Arab population, Abnaa elBallad proposes, and will go on proposing, a positive solution in the shape of a secular democratic state to which the Palestinian refugees will return and where all the inhabitants of the territory without distinction will enjoy equal rights.

In a period when American imperialism stands behind the Israeli aggression and is trying to impose a regime of occupation on Iraq, when imperialism uses reactionary dictatorships in the Arab world in order to prolong its domination of the region and the regime of exploitation and backwardness it imposes on hundreds of millions of Arabs, Abnaa elBallad constitutes an inseparable part of the movement of the masses for true democracy and social justice in the Arab world. The world movement against imperialist aggression, which reached its highest expression in the movement against the occupation of Iraq, strengthens our resolution to continue the struggle for the liberation of the peoples of the world and socialism. State terrorism will not stop the Abnaa elBallad movement, as it cannot stop the forward march of history.

March 4, 2004
Abnaa elBalad (Sons of the Land) Movement