Palestinian leftist and feminist parliamentarian and advocate for political prisoners Khalidda Jarrar has been sentenced by an Israeli occupation military court in Ofer to 15 months imprisonment today, 6 December 2015. Arrested by occupation military forces who invaded her Ramallah home on 2 April, the imprisonment of Jarrar, former executive director and current vice-chair of the board of directors of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, has sparked widespread Palestinian, Arab and international outrage.
Jarrar is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council for the Abu Ali Mustafa bloc, the parliamentary bloc affiliated with the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In 2014, she had been targeted for forced displacement to Jericho from Ramallah by an occupation military order, which she succeeded in defeating after a month-long sit-in at the PLC office and an international support campaign.
In April, she was immediately placed in administrative detention without charge or trial following her arrest. An international outcry – including a vote by the Portuguese parliament demanding her release – followed, and she was then charged in Israeli military courts. While the military courts present an appearance of a “trial,” these trials are in reality no more just or fair than arbitrary administrative detention. 99.74% of Palestinians who come before them are convicted.
Jarrar was charged with twelve entirely political charges relating to her public political activity, including giving speeches, attending public forums, and calling for the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners. She was accused of “incitement” for allegedly calling for the capture of Israeli occupation soldiers by the Palestinian resistance in order to free Palestinian prisoners. Despite this statement by the occupation military, they could produce no witness to confirm that Jarrar had ever said this – and the witnesses they brought forward all indicated that they were threatened and tortured into giving statements against Jarrar.
Despite the obviously political nature of the charges against Jarrar, an internationally-recognized parliamentarian and political leader, and the steadfast advocacy of her lawyers of Addameer, she was convicted by the Israeli military courts – as is entirely standard – and sentenced to fifteen months in Israeli occupation prisons.
“The conviction of Khalida Jarrar comes as no surprise; Israeli military courts serve no function except as an instrument of repression and suppression directed against Palestinians. Khalida Jarrar is a Palestinian political leader and an internationally-renowned struggler for justice. She has dedicated her life to working for freedom for her people and her land, and especially for the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners,” said Charlotte Kates, coordinator of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.
“It is urgent that we build the movement internationally to demand freedom for Jarrar and for her nearly 7,000 sisters and brothers held as Palestinian political prisoners inside Israeli jails. Khalida Jarrar is a longtime struggler for freedom and social justice, on Palestinian, Arab and international levels. We must do our utmost to advance her goals – to see Palestine, free of colonialism and oppression, with justice and liberation for all, including protesting, organizing and building the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions, and international isolation of Israel.”