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The New Arab

Suspended sentence for prominent Palestinian protester

Abu Rahma has been recognised as a Human Rights Defender by the EU [AFP]

Date of publication: 23 February, 2015

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Abdallah Abu Rahma, a Palestinian activist in the occupied West Bank, had faced up to five years in prison for a peaceful demonstration.

An Israeli military court on Monday handed Abdullah Abu Rahma, a prominent Palestinian activist in the occupied West Bank, a four-month suspended sentence and a fine of NIS 5,000 ($1,290).

Abu Rahma faced up to five years in prison for "obstructing a soldier in the line of duty", during a protest near the Israeli Ofer Military Prison in May 2012. 

"I will continue my struggle and my protest, because it is our right," he said after the verdict was read out. 

     I will continue my struggle and my protest, because it is our right
- Abdallah Abu Rahma


The demonstration was protesting against Israel's policy of detaining Palestinians without trial.

Under Israel's military law imposed on Palestinians living in the West Bank, any march or gathering of more than ten people is deemed illegal.

Abu Rahma was arrested for standing in front of a bulldozer clearing land to build the separation barrier near Ramallah. He was released on bail a few hours later, but brought before court one year ago.

He was sentenced under Military Order 101: Regarding Prohibition of Incitement and Hostile Propaganda Actions.

The military order has been described as "illegal" under both international and Israeli law by Israeli Human Rights NGO B'TSelem.

Abu Rahma is the coordinator for the Bilin Popular Committee, which for years has organised weekly non-violent protests against Israel's separation wall at its site snaking around their village.

He has been recognised as a Human Rights Defender by the European Union and named a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

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