lunedì 3 novembre 2014

To: Palestinian and international press agencies and the media
On Sunday 2 November 2014 at approximately 6pm local time, Palestinian security forces (Ucoi unit) entered the village of Asira Al-Qibliya (south of Nablus) in order to arrest its resident Abdullah Abdul Halim, the husband of local women's rights defender Hakima Motlaq Hassan.
I demand to know what the reasons behind this arrest order are. I personally know Abdullah and Hakima who are both dedicated to justice and human rights in Palestine. Protagonists of my 2013 documentary film about non-violent Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation, Abdullah and Hakima are a vital part of community life in their village. Hakima co-founded Retaj, a center for women and children in Asira, while Abdullah has been supporting his wife's community work and the advancement of human rights in the village and beyond. The couple have accompanied me on a 16-town movie tour in Italy in February 2014, where they presented the Palestinian cause to wide audiences, including university students and Italian activists.
All the Italian people Hakima and Abdullah met in Italy have been shocked to hear of the upcoming arrest of Abdullah by Palestinian security forces. They demand to know why this is happening and whether the security forces have any evidence that would prove the alleged wrongdoings of Abdullah. Nothing has been presented yet and Abdullah has not been informed of why he is wanted by the Palestinian security apparatus.
Dozens of Italian activists for Palestine, including myself, have been contacting the Palestinian ambassador to Italy, Ms Mai Alkaila, to ask about the reasons for this attack on a well-meaning Palestinian family that has dedicated their lives to truth and justice, and to human rights in Palestine.
As of today Abdullah refused to be taken to an unknown facility by the Palestinian security forces without knowing why he is being kidnapped. However aiming to avoid being violently taken from his home, he has decided to visit the Ukoi offices in Nablus tomorrow morning, i.e. Tuesday 4th November.
I ask you to publicise this case. No-one has the right to kidnap someone without any crime being committed. Human rights must prevail. The harassment against the family of Hakima and Abdullah must be stopped immediately so they can continue their human rights work. It is a shame that Palestinian security forces are using the same methods of intimidation, abuse, and arbitrary arrest as the occupying power.
Thank you for taking interest in justice and humanity.
Kind regards,
Samantha Comizzoli
Filmmaker, Human Rights Activist

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