Urgent Action Good News: Prominent Bedouin leader released

On 22 July 2019, 70-year-old human rights defender and prominent Bedouin leader Sheikh Sayyah Abu Mdeighim al-Turi was released from Maasiyahu Prison, in the city of Ramle in central Israel. He was granted an early release by the Israeli Prison Service. Sheikh Sayyah had spent seven months in detention for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. He is the head of al-‘Araqib, a Bedouin village in the Negev/Naqab that is unrecognized by the Israeli authorities.

Following his release, Sheikh Sayyah thanked Amnesty International and all those who took action on his behalf: “I thank you all very much for standing up for the right of my people and the protection of our land. While I was in prison, I felt and heard your support loud and clear, and it meant the world to me.” He added: “I’m free now, but the struggle is ongoing. Our village has been demolished at least 150 times. Not only are the Israeli authorities trying to destroy our property, they are also trying to destroy my will to continue protecting my land. I was detained again on 19 August 2019 by Israeli police who tried to have me removed from the land. However, on 20 August, an Israeli judge rejected the police’s request and ordered my release. I hope that Amnesty will continue to campaign on my case and the case of al-‘Araqib in the face of injustice and discrimination we face. The support and mobilization should continue until Israeli authorities stop all demolitions in our village, respect our right to live on our ancestral land and to officially recognize al-‘Araqib and other ‘unrecognized’ villages in the Naqab/Negev.’’
 

NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED FROM THE NETWORK. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

 

This is the 2nd and final update for UA 04/19 More information:

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde15/0435/2019/en/ 

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