Palestinian circus performer and special needs teacher deemed 'security threat' by Israel

Published December 11th, 2016 - 08:12 GMT
Many have protested the young man's detention (Twitter)
Many have protested the young man's detention (Twitter)

A Palestinian circus performer who has been held under administrative detention without charge for almost a year had his release petition rejected on Dec 5.

Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha, a 23-year-old who works with children with learning difficulties at the Palestinian Circus School in Birzeit, has been branded “a security threat”. The basis for this assessment? “Secret evidence produced by the Military Prosecutor in December 2015.”

The school said in a statement that this is an “unfounded claim”, adding that “as long as no charges and accessible evidence are formally brought against him, Abu Sakha will be prevented from defending himself and effectively denied his right to a fair trial.”

Abu Sakha is yet another victim of Israel’s highly criticized policy of administrative detention without trial based on evidence which is not disclosed to detainees or their lawyers. Internment can be renewed every six months.

Responding to Abu Sakha's case, EU, Swiss and Norwegian representatives to Jerusalem and Ramallah have issued a statement calling for the fair treatment of prisoners, and the respect of their human rights.

International activists have used social media to call for his release:

There are 720 Palestinians currently being held in Israeli administrative detention, according to rights group Addameer.


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