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PLO slams sentencing of Palestinian MP Khalida Jarrar

Dec. 8, 2015 9:01 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 9, 2015 6:19 P.M.)
(MaanImages/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi on Tuesday slammed Israel's sentencing of Khalida Jarrar, a Palestinian Legislative Council member and political leader of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) movement.

On behalf of the executive committee, Ashrawi, in a statement, demanded Israel immediately release Jarrar and all other imprisoned Palestinian parliament members.

"There is no legal basis for Khalida’s sentencing," Ashrawi said. "The actions of the Israeli military court are politically motivated and are part of a deliberate attack on Palestinian politicians. This also constitutes a blatant violation of Khalida’s parliamentary immunity."

Ashrawi urged Israel to adhere to international law and the immunity of elected officials, adding that "it is high time for the dehumanization and the captivity of the Palestinian people to end.”

On Sunday, an Israeli military court sentenced Jarrar to 15 months in jail. The lawmaker was also fined 10,000 shekels ($2,582) and given a suspended sentence of 12 months within a five year period.

Palestinian prisoner rights group Addameer said that Jarrar was sentenced on the charges of "membership of an illegal organization" and "incitement."

Jarrar was detained on April 2 from her home in Ramallah and initially sentenced to six months of administrative detention -- internment without trial or charge -- although international pressure later forced Israeli authorities to bring charges against her. The 12 charges eventually brought against her focused on her political activism.

Two witnesses giving testimony at Jarrar's first witness hearing in August told the court that their confessions were obtained through "torture and ill treatment" by Israeli forces.

Her case has brought outcry across both Palestine and Israel, with Palestinian and Israeli rights groups calling for her release.

Addameer had earlier described her arrest as "vengeful, arbitrary and political, with an aim to punish her for her political opinions and activism for Palestinian human rights," while Human Rights Watch has said that "her case is rife with due process violations."
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