- 'The Palestinian prisoners are the first line of defense confronting the occupation and its racist nature in Israeli jails, despite all the difficult conditions they face' - Abu Sharkh.
Lina Khattab, 18, a first-year media studies student at Bir Zeit University and folkloric dancer with the El Funoun Popular Palestinian Dance Troupe, was arrested on 13 December 2014 in Beitunia when she and other Bir Zeit students participated in a march towards Ofer military prison, protesting in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners. Lina is active with cultural and political student activities at the University.
She has been charged with “throwing stones” and “participating in an unlawful demonstration,” two charges frequently used by the Israeli military against Palestinians who participate in public protests for their rights against the Israeli military occupation. She is facing Israeli military courts, reserved for Palestinians under occupation, which have a 99.74% conviction rate.
On 28 December, the Progressive Student Action Front and the Palestinian Prisoners’ Committee held a sit-in calling for the freedom of Lina Khattab and all Palestinian political prisoners at the International Committee of the Red Cross building in Gaza City, coordinated with the Progressive Democratic Student Pole of Bir Zeit University.
The Progressive Democratic Students at Bir Zeit University have organized several marches and rallies calling for Lina’s freedom. Also the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees have held a number of support and protest gatherings at Lina’s family home.
At the sit-in, student Lina Abu Sharkh saluted her fellow student organizers at Bir Zeit
University for their constant activity in defending the Palestinian cause and particularly the rights of Palestinian prisoners.
She also denounced Israeli prison authorities for extending the ban on family visits for imprisoned Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat an additional three months; he has been denied family visits since September 2014. “These orders will not break the will of steadfastness and resistance, and such attempts to pressure and isolate Palestinian leaders inside Israeli jails are doomed to fail,” said Abu Sharkh.
This is her eighth appearance in the military court since her arrest on December 13, 2014 during a student protest calling for the release of Palestinian political prisoners. Each previous time her hearing has been postponed and her detention extended. Lina Khattab, will face an Israeli military court once more on February 16.
On January 12, she was denied bail at a hearing in which the military judge said, “looking at her, I can see the characteristics of a leader.” Active Palestinian students frequently face arrest and imprisonment for their campus activities, including involvement in student union elections, student protests and campus activist organizations and student government blocs.
Lina reported through her lawyer that she had been abused and beaten by Israeli soldiers during her detention and one of the soldiers had hit her, ripped her clothes and shouted obscene insults at her.
Lina is a Palestinian young woman, student activist, imprisoned for participating in a popular demonstration for justice. She is threatened with a lengthy prison sentence for participating in these activities against Israeli occupation and apartheid. Demand her immediate release.
Please take action to call for Lina’s freedom:
What to do
- Take a picture or short video of yourself, your friends or your student group with a sign, “Free Lina Khattab!” “Free Palestinian student Lina Khattab!” Send it to email@example.com or post it to the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FreeLina/
- Hold a protest or demonstration at an Israeli consulate or mission in your area to demand freedom for Lina Khattab, or join an existing protest and carry signs demanding Lina’s liberty.
Please send pictures, reports or facebook links to your events and actions!
- Organize a campus or workplace meeting to debate the issue, pass a motion or do a banner drop to support student activist Lina Khattab and build international solidarity among student and youth movements for Lina’s freedom.
- Write letters or print a leaflet to distribute about Lina’s imprisonment.
Free Lina Khattab Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/FreeLina/
For More information contact: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and The Electronic Intifada.