Imad al-Barghouthi, Astrophysicist and Professor at al-Quds University has been detained for a second time at a checkpoint in Israel. No charges were filed. Professor Barghouthi is an Astrophysicist and founder of the Arab Union of Astronomy and Science. He obtained his doctorate at the University of Utah and worked at the US space agency before returning to Jerusalem.
In December 2014 he was stopped on his way to a professional conference by Israeli authorities and informed that he would be detained for three months based on an administrative report. Appearing for a hearing on the matter the Judge, after reviewing a letter from CCS, immediately dismissed the charges. Professor Barghouthi, was recently arrested at an Israeli checkpoint northwest of Ramallah on April 24th and informed that he would again be administratively detained for four months. He will return to court on May 8th for an initial hearing.
CCS has sent the following letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu requesting he either be charged or released.
May 7, 2015
Prime Minister of Israel
Prime Minister’s Office
3 Kaplan St. Hakirya
Jerusalem 91950, Israel
Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu:
We are writing, again, in concern for Professor Imad al-Barghouthi. Professor Barghouthi of al-Quds University is an Astrophysicist and founder of the Arab Union of Astronomy and Science. He obtained his doctorate at the University of Utah and worked at the US space agency before returning to Jerusalem.
Barghouthi was arrested on December 6, 2014 by Israeli authorities at the Karama border as he was on his way to the United Arab Emirates to attend the 11th Arab Astronomy Congress. He was informed that he would be detained administratively for three months. When Professor al-Barghouthi came to court for a hearing appealing his detention the Judge ordered his immediate release.
On April 24th of this year, Barghouthi was again detained at the Nabi Saleh checkpoint northwest of Ramallah. He was informed that he would be administratively detained for four months. No charges were, again, provided.
Barghouthi’s detention without any accusation of wrongdoing is a serious violation of his human rights. We urge you to immediately order the release of Imad al-Barghouthi or bring charges against him. Doing neither greatly undercuts Israel’s desire to have its scientists treated properly in other countries and greatly tarnishes Israel’s image.
Sincerely,Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich,
Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
- Palestinian astrophysicist arrested and jailed for second time in 15 months (mondoweiss.net)
- Israel arrests pro-Hamas Palestinian astrophysics professor (timesofisrael.com)