Addameer Offices Raided by Israeli Occupying Forces This Morning
The Israeli Occupation Forces raided three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Ramallah at 3 am this morning, including Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. Five computers and a camera were stolen from Addameer, as well as a number of legal files, pictures and posters of prisoners and detainees on hunger strike. Ironically, this attack coincides with the 64th anniversary of the ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Addameer believes that this brutal assault is part of the constant targeting of the association’s staff and mission to defend Palestinian political prisoners. Since 2002, Addameer has been subjected to raids and attacks and arrest campaigns of staff members in past years. Most recently, Addameer’s researcher, Ayman Nasser, was detained on 15 October 2012 and is charged for supporting Palestinian prisoners and detainees and calling for their freedom. Similarly, in midst of the prisoners’ hunger strike between 17 September and 13 October 2011, the IOF issued an arbitrary order that bans Addameer’s chairperson Abdullatif Ghaith from entering the West Bank, a ban that is still in effect.
The work of Addameer’s lawyers was hindered by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) during the past two years and during the hunger strikes, as two lawyers have been repeatedly banned from visiting Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons. In addition, and as part of the occupation’s ways to restrict Addameer’s work, the IOF banned a number of Addameer’s staff from travelling for “security” reasons, which severely restricts our ability to attend international events and speaking tours to provide a voice for Palestinian prisoners rights in the international arena.
Ramallah, Occupied Palestine: Another Palestinian demonstration in support of Political Prisoners
Addameer believes that these ongoing attacks aim to destroy the legitimacy of non-governmental organizations, and by disregarding our status as human rights defenders, raiding and ransacking resources and arresting staff members, they delegitimize human rights work and normalize the attacks on our offices. We see a similar trend in the attacks on the Gaza Strip in November 2012, where the international protection and immunity of journalists was denied and they became legitimate targets for the IOF.
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association reiterates its firm commitment to support the Palestinian detainees and prisoners rights at any cost, as Addameer’s researcher Ayman Nasser proclaimed in the military court: “I will support the prisoners’ issue even if the cost is my freedom.”