by Movement Abnaa al-Balad, Palestine
The police of Karmiel (in the Galilee) stopped on Sunday, October 24, near the town of Majd el-Kouroum, the car of comrade Jamil Saffouri, a member of the central committee of the movement Abnaa al-Balad.
After a meticulous search within the vehicle, where they found issues of the magazine "al-Jil al-Jadid" (the movement youth`s organ), comrade Saffouri was taken to the police station of Karmiel and interrogated for carrying "incriminatory" material, i.e. the issues of the magazine dedicated to the Palestine youth.
Comrade Saffouri explained that the magazine is published by an association with the same name, which is a legal and registered organization, and that the magazine appears legally. But the police officer insisted in confiscating all the issues of the magazine and in condemning comrade Saffouri to five days of house arrest, arguing that the police was going to conduct a legal examination of the magazine and its contents.
On Monday morning, lawyer Wakim Wakim contacted the Karmiel police officer in order to know the details of the case. The officer said that the contents of eth magazine were being analyzed, but agreed to reduce the period of house arrest to three days.
The Shafa`Amr police had already arrested comrade Saffouri two weeks ago, accusing him of housing West Bank workers. He was then freed after spending the night in prison.
We condemn the detention and house arrest of comrade Saffouri, as well as the policy of persecutions against the comrades of the Abnaa al-Balad movement, and we reject the policy of terror, intimidation and lack of freedom of expression. We demand that the confiscated magazines be returned as well as the closing of all the legal proceedings.
Let the police examine the legality of the association and of the magazine before adopting illegal measures that have no other aim but to terrorize and suppress the freedom of expression.
October 25, 2004