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Israel releases Palestinian professor held without charge

Nov. 29, 2009 11:57 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 30, 2009 6:10 P.M.)
Salfit – Ma’an – Israel released a Palestinian law professor on Thursday after holding him for 20 months in three different prisons without charge.

Dr Ghassan Khaled (known as "Abu Nasser") is a lawyer and lecturer in commercial law at An-Najah University in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Khaled was arrested in January 2008, interrogated for 20 days, then released and re-arrested on 31 March 2008. He was held in administrative detention until last Thursday. According to the human rights organization Ahrar, Khaled was tortured while in Israel's Negev, Megiddo and Ofer prisons.

Akram Daoud, the dean of the law faculty at An-Najah, told the Chronicle of Higher Education earlier in November that his colleague was held completely without charges.

“There are no charges. This was the first time he was arrested. He is religious. He is someone who prays and sometimes talks in the mosques, but he’s not connected to any kind of political party,” Doud was quoted as saying.

“They couldn’t prove that he has any link with any political party—this is why they are going to put him in administrative detention, because they don’t have any charges against him,” he said.

“This guy has very close connections to Israelis from the peace movement—they are coming daily to his house. He has many friends in Israel and among the Israeli people,” he also told the journal.

Ahrar’s director, Fuad Al-Khafsh, said Khaled was a human rights activist who was relentless in his defense of liberty. The professor was born in the village of Jayyus, near Qalqiliya, in 1970 and studied law in Russia, were he also earned a PhD.
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