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Oct-17-2009 14:21printcomments

Israeli's Jail Palestinian Advocating for Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions

Mohammad Othman was detained on September 22 by Israeli authorities when returning to the West Bank after a trip to Norway.

Detained Palestinian Mohammad Othman
A young boy holds a photo of Mohammad Othman during a weekly peace protest in Nil'in (Photo Ahmad Mesleh) - Nil'in Youth Center

(OAKLAND, Calif.) - How wide is the space for Palestinian non-violent activism? Two by two meters (seven by seven feet). That is the size of the windowless cell where Mohammad Othman is being held in solitary confinement in an Israeli jail.

Sydney Levy with Jewish Voice for Peace in Oakland, California, says a growing number of concerned people have already sent over 4,500 emails to President Obama, asking him to press Israel for Mohammad's release.

Levy says the support helps, but Othman needs more, so he's asking people reading this story to take a minute to tell their friends about Mohammad Othman.

"Mohammad's crime? He was detained on September 22 by Israeli authorities when returning to the West Bank after a trip to Norway, where he advocated for boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel."

"Over three weeks have passed, during which he has been submitted to long interrogation sessions -- some lasting up to 18 hours -- where he has been questioned about his trips to Europe and meetings with European groups. He has not been charged with anything."

Levy believes Othman is being held on illegal and immoral grounds. Many say this is a very typical move for the Israeli military, which has for years done everything possible to control the Palestinian population.

"We suspect he is in jail simply because of his BDS advocacy. A large number of Palestinian activists are now saying, 'If you want to arrest the BDS movement, you have to catch us all!'"

"Advocating for nonviolent means to end the occupation is not a crime! Please help us Free Mohammad Othman."

You can share your feelings with President Obama by writing to the following address:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
The White Houses asks that you please include your e-mail address.

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Daniel Johnson October 17, 2009 2:45 pm (Pacific time)

I've read that the Goldstone Report is going to be debated by the UN. Israel is rejecting it as biased and unfair and unfortunately that appears to be true. The Palestinians were too clever by half. The resolution accuses Israel of war crimes, but makes no reference to what Hamas has done. So, progress appears to be in the works, but it's a flawed progress.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.