Omar Kiswani, the student council president at Birzeit University in the West Bank, was kidnapped by Israeli soldiers in early March. He was held at a detention center for a month without a charge nor access to an attorney. On April 2nd he was allowed an attorney visit. CCS has written the Israeli Minister of Justice requesting that Kiswani be charged or released
Minister of Justice
29 Salah al-Din Street
Jerusalem 91010, Israel
Fax: +972 2 640 8402 E
Dear Minister Shaked:
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 grave concern for Omar Kiswani, the student council president at Birzeit University in the West Bank, who was kidnapped by Israeli soldiers disguised as journalists on March 7. He is currently being held at Moskobiya detention center. To the best of our knowledge he has not been charged with a crime while he continues to be interrogated.
He was not permitted access to a lawyer for the entire month of March, and lawyers familiar with his case report that his interrogation involves long hours and sleep deprivation. He was allowed a visit from an attorney, finally, on April 2, by which time he had lost considerable weight due to a hunger strike which he has since ended.
As academics and scholars, we object to this violation of a student’s basic human rights. No one should be subjected to such ill treatment and prolonged detention without charge. We urge you to see to it that he is either charged or released.
Thank you for your attention to this serious 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 Drive, NW
Washington, DC 20008
T: 202.364.5500 | F: 1 202 364 5607