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Israel charges Palestinian rights researcher

Nov. 29, 2012 5:44 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 5, 2012 7:43 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military court has issued charges against a Palestinian human rights researcher that relate to his participation in public occasions, Addameer said Wednesday.

The list of charges refers to Ayman Nasser's involvement in the annual Prisoners Day activities in 2011 and 2012, solidarity work during prisoners' hunger strikes, and attending the anniversary of the killing of PFLP leader Abu Ali Mustafa, the group said.

Nasser, 42, has been working as a researcher for Addameer since 2008, and is also a part-time lecturer in social work at Al-Quds University.

He was detained in an Israeli army dawn raid on his hometown of Saffa, near Ramallah, on Oct. 15.

Addameer's legal director Mahmoud Hassan said the charges are "a desperate attempt to convict popular and official solidarity with the prisoners' issue."

He noted that the events mentioned in the charges are "public occasions that are approved officially and nationally and enjoy participation from all sectors of society.

"These events take place in streets and public squares, and therefore allow participation for the entire community."

Nasser, who suffers from ongoing spinal and colon problems, is being held in solitary confinement in between intensive interrogation sessions, Addameer said.

On Nov. 22 he was transferred from Jerusalem's Al Moskobiyeh interrogation center to Megiddo jail in northern Israel, the group said, noting that Megiddo's isolation section is used to jail prisoners with disciplinary sanctions.

Addameer said the prolongation of Nasser's detention was a "severe violation of his rights as a human rights defender," and called for his immediate release.
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