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Amnesty: Leftist writer Qatamesh a prisoner of conscience

March 7, 2012 1:23 P.M. (Updated: March 7, 2012 1:25 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian academic who received a third six-month administrative detention order on March 1 should be considered a prisoner of conscience and released unconditionally, Amnesty International said Tuesday.

Ahmad Qatamesh has been held without charge or trial since April 21, 2011. He was given a third administrative detention order on March 1, the day that his second administrative detention order was due to expire.

At the judicial review of the order, which took place on March 5, the military prosecutor sought the confirmation of the order by the military judge who is expected to confirm the detention order in the coming days, Amnesty said.

"It is Amnesty International’s assessment that the reasons for Ahmad Qatamesh’s arrest and continued administrative detention are his peaceful expression, in his writing and teaching, of non-violent political views and the fact that he is considered a mentor for left-wing students and political activists, some of whom may be affiliated to the PFLP," Amnesty said.

"As such, his detention may be part of the Israeli authorities’ strategy to put pressure on the PFLP organisation. Therefore, Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience and is calling for his immediate and unconditional release."
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