Israel – Human Rights – Ameer Makhoul – Amnesty International



12 May 2010

Amnesty International has called on the Israeli authorities to end their harassment of a human rights activist whose week-long detention by the Israeli authorities was extended today.

Ameer Makhoul, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, was arrested in a dawn raid at his home in Haifa, northern Israel, by the Israeli security services and police on 6 May. He has been charged with “contact with a foreign agent” on the basis of “secret evidence”.

“Ameer Makhoul is a key human rights defender, well-known for his civil society activism on behalf of the Palestinian citizens of Israel,” said Philip Luther, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

“His arrest and continued detention smacks of pure harassment, designed to hinder his human rights work. If this is the case, we would regard him as a prisoner of conscience call for his immediate and unconditional release.”

Ameer Makhoul has been denied legal advice throughout his detention. The doctor at the prison where he is held has informed his lawyer that he is suffering from pains in his head.

On the morning of his arrest, Ameer Makhoul was taken to Petah Tikva interrogation centre and, at a hearing the same day, his detention was authorized for six days. Today it was extended until 17 May.

According to Ameer’s wife, Janan Makhoul, during the raid on their home, security forces confiscated mobile phones, laptops, a camera, and documents.

The same morning, members of the Israeli security forces also raided the office of the association Ittijah in Haifa, where Ameer Makhoul works.

Ameer Makhoul had already been banned from travelling for two months on 21 April by the Israeli Minister of the Interior Eli Yishai, who said at the time that Ameer Makhoul’s exit from the country “poses a serious threat to the security of the state”.

The Palestinian activist was only made aware of the ban when he attempted to leave Israel on 22 April, where he was scheduled to begin a series of meetings with civil society activists in Jordan.

When Amnesty International spoke to Ameer Makhoul in late April he expressed his concern that the travel ban was part of a broader pattern of state repression against the peaceful political activities of Palestinian citizens of Israel, justified under “security concerns”.

In January 2009, the Israeli Central Election Committee banned the National Democratic Assembly (NDA), a party which currently holds three seats in the Israeli parliament and calls for Israel to be “a state for all its citizens”, and the United Arab List, which has four parliamentary representatives, from standing in Israel’s general elections under the claim that the parties supported terrorism and “did not recognize Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state”.

The Committee’s ban on the two parties was subsequently overturned by the Israeli High Court.

On 24 April, Omar Said, an activist with the NDA was detained by the Israeli authorities.

Initially a gagging order was imposed on the Israeli press to prevent reporting of Ameer Makhoul’s and Omar Said’s detentions.

The lifting of the order led to reports in the Israeli media on Monday that the arrests of both men related to accusations of spying and contact with a foreign agent from Lebanese group Hizbullah.

Ameer Makhoul has been the General Director of Ittijah, which works on behalf of the Palestinian community in Israel, since its foundation in 1995.

He is also the chair of the Public Committee for the Defence of Political Freedom within the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee in Israel.

“In the unlikely event that there are genuine grounds to prosecute Ameer Makhoul he should be charged with recognizable criminal offences and brought promptly to trial in full conformity with international fair trial standards,” said Philip Luther.

“Free Ameer Makhoul–الحرية لأمير مخول–ישוחרר אמיר מח’ול”:

על מנועי חיפוש, ישראלים חסרי סבלנות ומה שביניהם.

Gaza Prisoner Protest:


3 thoughts on “Israel – Human Rights – Ameer Makhoul – Amnesty International

  1. kruitvat Post author

    Government contacts

    Contact Israel’s Minister of Public Security (=”Homeland Security”),
    email: Other ministry addresses: public complaints, spokesperson, website
    Telephone +972-2-5428014 Fax +972-2-5428266
    (faxes are especially annoying for govt. offices to handle)
    Police spokesperson Tel. +972-2-5428190

    I’m guessing it will be more confusing for the local “law” enforcement agencies to handle calls from abroad, than to spokespeople. Here are relevant police local offices:
    Central region +972-8-9279444 (they are held in the center of the country)
    Sharon subregion +972-9-7473444
    Petah Tikva station +972-3-9393444 (the town where they are held).

    Things to ask could be whether they think people are innocent until proven guilty, and if so then why are they arrested in the middle of the night and not given access to their lawyers. Ask them for the immediate release of Saeed and Makhoul.

    The courts:

    Petah Tikva regional court fax +972-3-9299447, 9299448, 9299449
    Loudly protest by fax the extension of arrest without access to lawyer. Ask them whether they think “democracy” and “defendant rights” are some kind of joke.

    Court clerk Rahamim Asher, +972-3-9299508, +972-50-6255249 (cellphone, even more annoying perhaps)

    Petah Tikva district court fax +972-3-9299546, 9299547, 9299548
    Court clerk Gila Dayan Ifargan, tel. +972-3-9299453
    (this lower court is the where the gag order was issued)

  2. kruitvat Post author

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  3. kruitvat Post author

    Police State

    On an Israeli blog:

    In Belgium, we see the same.

    Marcel Vervloesem, member of our association who revealed the so named Zandvoort childporn case with pictures of 90.000 victims, was falsely accused.
    Then he was criminalised by the mainstream media controlled by the State.

    Even the statements and documents that showed his innocence, disappeared from his court record.

    In 2008, after Marcel Vervloesem was persecuted during 9 years, the High Council of Justice acknowledged the disappearance.
    The High Council acknowledged that the 7 CD-ROMs of the childporn case Zandvoort which the belgian King transferred at the request of our association to the Attorney General, were also disappeared.
    They were never refound and the belgian Minister of Justice who is very well informed, covers the whole affair.

    The judicial system in democratic states seems totally sick and the State Security was taken over the role of Justice.

    The Israeli Minister Lieberman spoke of a constitutional democracy but the case Ameer Makhoul – Omar Said prooves that he can better speak about the Israeli Police State.

    Jan Boeykens, President of Werkgroep Morkhoven


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