Ahmad Qatamesh, a university professor and founder of the Munif Barghouti Research Center in the School of Humanities at Al-Quds University was arrested on May 14th and detained without being charged with a crime for his political opinions and writings. He has spent over eight years in jail in the past for the same situation over years. CCS has written the Israeli Minister of Defense requesting a review of the case and noting that if he is not being charged he should be released.
July 30, 2017
Minister of Defense
Ministry of Defense
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
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Dear Minister Liberman:
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We write to express our concern for Ahmad Qatamesh, a University professor and founder of the Munif Barghouti Research Center in the School of Humanities at Al-Quds University. Qatamesh was arrested on May 14 and given a three month “administrative detention” order. It appears that professor Qatamesh is being held, without charge or trial, for his political writings and opinions. He was twice warned by Israeli authorities in 2016 to cease his writing and public speaking. It is believed that his arrest may have been related to his support for a hunger strike organized by Palestinian prisoners.
Israel has detained Ahmad Qatamesh before, where he has previously spent more than 8 years in Israeli “administrative detention” without charge or trial, in violation of his rights to freedom of expression and opinion, as well as his right not to be imprisoned without charge.
Additionally, it has been reported by other human rights organizations that professor Qatamesh is refusing to take his medication until he is allowed access to an independent doctor.
We urge you to have Professor Qatamesh immediately and unconditionally released if he is not appropriately charged. We urge you to ensure that he has access to adequate, independent medical care as well as regular access to his family and legal representation of his choosing.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we look forward to receiving your response.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Ambassador Ron Dermer
Embassy of Israel
3514 International Dr. NW
Washington DC 20008