Site Navigation

Abnaa elBalad’s secretary’s sentence extended to 4.5 yrs

11. November 2005

Systematic destruction of Arab political expression within Israel

The Israeli courts extends the imprisonment sentence against Abnaa elBalad Secretary General Comrade Muhammad Kana’ane to four and half years

Abnaa elBalad movement strongly condemns the persecution against its leaders and the newest vengeful and ruthless decision

Comrade Muhammad Kana’ane – Abu As’ad – the Secretary General of Abnaa elBalad, was arrested on January 7, 2003, together with his brother comrade Husam Kana’ane, member of the movement’s central committee, and comrades Yusuf Abu ‘Ali, member of the movement’s control committee and Sahar ‘Abdu, secretary of ‘elJeel elJadeed’ magazine. After a month of intensive interrogation in the hands of the Shin Bet, during which they were deprived of their basic rights and prevented from meeting a lawyer, comrades Muhammad and Husam were put on trial for bogus ‘security’ accusations, while the other two comrades were released.

The Haifa district court sentenced comrade Muhammad Kana’ane to two and half years of imprisonment, on the charge of ‘meeting a foreign agent’. It should be noted that by the Israeli law all Palestinian activists are regarded ‘foreign agents’, and that all of comrade Kana’ane’s meetings were publicly held as part of Abnaa elBalad’s public activity to unite the Palestinian People’s political resistance to Israeli occupation and racist Apartheid. Comrade Husam was later sentenced to ten and half years’ imprisonment, after being accused of ‘aiding the enemy’ – a catch all clause in the Israeli draconian emergency laws which applies to anybody who objects to the Israeli occupation and war crimes.

The prosecution was not satisfied and appealed against the ‘extraordinarily light’ sentence against comrade Kana’ane. On November 10, the appeals court, with three judges headed by the court’s president Barak, accepted the prosecution’s appeal and sentenced comrade Kana’ane to four and half years. As grounds for their decision, the judges emphasized the enduring position of comrade Kana’ane, who has been arrested several times in the past, but hasn’t given up the struggle.

The prolonged imprisonment of Abnaa elBalad’s secretary general comes on top of systematic persecution of our movement, as well as persecution against the leadership of other legitimate political movements representing the Arab Palestinian masses within the 1948 occupied territories. Five leaders of the Islamic movement, headed by Sheikh Raed Salah, were imprisoned for more than two years for their humanitarian help to victims of the occupation. Just yesterday, Ghasan Athamneh, a leading member of the National Democratic Alliance, was sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment for ‘security’ reasons.

In a special press release which was issued immediately after the court’s decision, Abnaa elBalad movement strongly condemns the decision and continues: “We promise all of you, and promise ourselves, as we promise our comrades in the darkness of their prison cells, and all the freedom prisoners, we will never give up the road of freedom. Persecution and vengeful courts won’t force us astray from our chosen path. Our struggle will continue until we achieve the full rights of our Palestinian people, first of all our right to maintain the connections between our people, wherever they are to be found, until the fulfillment of the right of return and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.”