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Press release February 7

It has been almost seven months that Mustapha Awad has been imprisoned in Israel.

Supporters of the Free Mustapha Committee gathered in front of the Belgian Foreign Ministry in Brussels, Belgium on 6 February. There, a delegation comprised of An Muylaert, Mustapha’s Belgian adoptive mother, Alexis Deswaef, honorary president of the League for Human Rights, and Myriam De Ly of the Free Mustapha Committee, visited the Foreign Ministry. The delegation had asked for an appointment with the minister or members of cabinet, but were instead received by administrative staff – sending a message in and of itself about the Belgian government’s failure to support Mustapha.

The delegation wished to make clear that an early release of Mustapha may be possible in March, after completing two-thirds of his “sentence,” but that Belgium’s intervention is absolutely critical in this regard.

From the beginning, the representatives of the Ministry said that Belgium would not intervene.

Alexis Deswaef gave a review of the history of five meetings between the Committee and the Ministry: “At the first meeting, we were told that we had to be patient, that diplomacy was progressing, that we would first make verbal notes. Then it was said that this is an exceptional case and it was necessary to wait for the trial. And now that the sentencing has taken place, but an early release is possible, we are told that nothing can be done. Belgium’s attitude was completely opposite in the case of the arrest of Amaya Coppens in Nicaragua. Minister Reynders intervened the day after her arrest with the Nicaraguan government. Why these two weights, two measures? Because it’s Israel. »

An Muylaert, the spokesperson for Mustapha’s family in Lebanon and his Belgian adoptive mother, said once again that for over six and a half months, she has not even been able to hear Mustapha’s voice. Even a telephone call between them is banned: an intolerable situation, from a human point of view. This is one factor that leads Mr. Deswaef to say that Mustapha’s conditions of detention do not comply with international laws. Even one of his basic rights, seeing or calling his relatives, is not respected. At the time of his interrogation, Mustapha also underwent inhumane treatment: sleep deprivation and interrogations for 20 out of 24 hours in a day.

Myriam De Ly, speaking for the Free Mustapha Committee, spoke about Mustapha’s conditions of detention, held in the high-security prison of Gilboa. In late January, elite troops sent by the internal security minister Gilad Erdan invaded Israeli prisons with dogs, batons, machine guns, tear gas. 150 prisoners were seriously injured in Ofer prison. Mustapha, imprisoned in Gilboa, is not immune to this type of experience.

Alexis Deswaef also discussed an official report issued by that same minister, also responsible for “Strategic Affairs,” a text sent to international bodies attacking human rights defenders like Shawan Jabarin, the representative of Al-Haq and General Secretary of FIDH; Salah Hamouri, the recently released French-Palestinian lawyer; and Mustapha Awad, calling them “terrorists.”

Belgium should not accept these kinds of smears against its citizens. We ourselves can now be treated as “terrorists in suits.”

Photo: Tahsin Zaki

The Free Mustapha Committee has gone again and again to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Belgium could have helped to release Mustapha from his detention. It can still. But over the course of these meetings, the delegation has understood clearly that Belgium does not have the political will to act.

February 7, the Free Mustapha Committee

At the end of the year, let’s not forget Mustapha !

You can help support Mustapha Awad by sending him a card or letter to break his isolation at the following mailing address:

Prison of Gilboa
To the attention of Mr. Mustapha AWAD
P.O.B. 65
Gilboa
Israel

Our friend Mustapha Awad (arrested by Israel on 19 July this year, when he only sought to visit the homeland of his ancestors, Palestine, and unjustly sentenced to one year in prison) is still denied even a single phone call to his family members, Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. He cannot even receive a visit from them.

Mustapha went through weeks of harsh interrogations, invariably accompanied by cruel and inhumane treatment amounting to torture. He is imprisoned in the harsh conditions of a security prisons.

In interviews, Salah Hamouri, a French-Palestinian lawyer and former political prisoner, explains how deprivation of family visits and communication can be especially difficult for detainees. He himself was also denied family visits ; his wife and child are forbidden from entering Israel.

While in Brussels, Salah made a call: « Write to Mustapha! Your cards and letters will obviously first pass through Israeli censorship, but know that they will be of great comfort to Mustapha. »

Our letters also send a clear statement to the occupation authorities: we will not forget Mustapha, and we want his release!

Belgian-Palestinian artist Mustapha Awad sentenced to a year in Israeli prison

 
 
Photo: Free Mustapha Committee, Facebook

Mustapha Awad, Palestinian refugee and Belgian citizen, co-founder of Raj’een Dabkeh Troupe and metal worker, was sentenced on 28 November by an Israeli court to one year in prison. Like the vast majority of so-called “security” or political cases in Israeli courts (military or “civil”) against Palestinians, the case concluded in a plea agreement. For Palestinians, the consequences of rejecting such an agreement can include trial processes that stretch on for months or even years before the imposition of a lengthy sentence. 

Awad, 36 and a longtime activist for Palestinian rights – including the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners – was seized by Israeli occupation forces in an alarming incident on 19 July. Born in Ein el-Helweh refugee camp in Lebanon, Awad wanted to visit Palestine for the first time. Instead of being welcomed to his homeland or even being interrogated and deported as numerous Palestinians with international citizenships – as well as international solidarity activists – have been, he was seized by occupation forces and taken to interrogation inside occupied Palestine.

Photo: Free Mustapha Committee

Awad was interrogated for nearly a month, sometimes under severe pressure and reportedly up to 20 hours out of the day, deprived of sleep. He faced accusations of “membership in an illegal organization,” allegedly the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Every major Palestinian political party has been labeled “illegal” by the Israeli occupation, and even members of student blocs and mass organizations are regularly hit with this charge by the Israeli occupation.

The “Free Mustapha” Committee, an alliance of dozens of organizations and individuals, continues to fundraise to support Mustapha’s legal fees and pressure Belgium to demand his release. As documented by David Cronin in the Electronic Intifada, the Belgian government has failed to take action on Awad’s case, despite the fact that his only citizenship is Belgian. Instead, while Awad has been visited by the Belgian consul, Belgium has not responded to repeated meetings and demands from Awad’s Belgian family and friends to put serious pressure on Israel for his release.

“We have the impression that Belgium is abandoning a Belgian citizen… It should be very clear to say that we do not accept the treatment of a Belgian citizen like that because tomorrow it can be you, it can be me, and it is unacceptable,” said Belgian lawyer and honorary president of the League of Human Rights Alexis Deswaef. 

The next protest for Awad’s freedom and in solidarity with Palestine will take place on Tuesday, 11 December at 5:30 pm in the city of Mons, in Grand Place. Previous events have taken place in cities across Belgium, including Brussels, Charleroi, Antwerp and Ghent. Awad’s case has been featured at a range of Palestine and social justice events in Belgium, including the event organized for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People featuring French-Palestinian lawyer and recently released political prisoner Salah Hamouri.

Salah Hamouri says “Free Mustapha”

Awad’s case has sparked concern from many active Palestinians, especially those with European citizenship, given that it seems to mark an even more intensely escalated level of repression against Palestinians seeking to visit their homeland. Now, Palestinians with international citizenships coming to Palestine not only have to be concerned about racism, harsh interrogations and forced exclusion from their homeland, but also with the possibility of political arrest, interrogation and imprisonment.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network reiterates our demand for the immediate release of Mustapha Awad. We call on the Belgian government to demand his liberation and to take a stand for Mustapha and other Palestinians facing exclusion and repression at the hands of the Israeli state, including all Palestinian refugees denied their internationally recognized right to return to their homeland.

To donate to the Free Mustapha committee for Mustapha’s legal bills, use the following bank information:

Free Mustafa
BE96 7360 5044 3805.
BIC: KRED BE BB

Below is the press release from the Free Mustapha Committee:

Belgian worker and artist Mustapha Awad sentenced to one year in prison in Israel.

Yesterday our dear friend Mustapha Awad was sentenced by an Israeli court to 12 months in prison. He was sentenced on the basis of « confessions » obtained under conditions related to torture (secret detention, forced interrogation 20H/day, sleep deprivation).
In reality, it is an empty file, dealing with facts for which he could not be convicted in Belgium.

Mustapha is accused of belonging to an « illegal » organization: for Israel any organization that resists occupation and apartheid is illegal. The Israeli court mentions a « training »: in fact, it is a computer security course, which could be organized by any human rights organization. As for support for « financing », the facts mentioned concern humanitarian action.

Once again, the Free Mustapha Committee asserts that Mustapha’s imprisonment is fundamentally unfair and unacceptable and the Committee will continue to demand his immediate release, as well as the end of Belgium’s official silence around this affair.

This message was also delivered at meeting with the Foreign Ministry on the day of conviction in Israel by delegation composed of An Muylaert – Mustapha’s Belgian mother, Alexis Deswaef – Honorary President of the League of Human Rights, Pierre Galand – President of the ABP and the World Organization Against Torture, Hamdan Al Damiri, and Myriam De Ly – members of the Free Mustapha Committee.

The delegation firmly asked that Minister Reynders take a public stand that Belgium can not tolerate such violations of international law and human rights and calls for the immediate release of Mustapha Awad.
The Free Mustapha Committee has already organized a new protest action. It will take place on Tuesday, December 11, at 17:30 on the Grand Place of Mons.

Freedom for Mustapha! Freedom for all Palestinian prisoners!


Published on Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Network, 9 December 2018

 

Press release 29/11/2018

Persmededing Nederlands : onderaan
Communiqué en français : en-dessous
———————————-
Free Mustapha Committee Press Release – 29/11/2018
Belgian worker and artist Mustapha Awad sentenced to one year in prison in Israel.

Yesterday our dear friend Mustapha Awad was sentenced by an Israeli court to 12 months in prison. He was sentenced on the basis of « confessions » obtained under conditions related to torture (secret detention, forced interrogation 20H/day, sleep deprivation).
In reality, it is an empty file, dealing with facts for which he could not be convicted in Belgium.

Mustapha is accused of belonging to an « illegal » organization: for Israel any organization that resists occupation and apartheid is illegal. The Israeli court mentions a « training »: in fact, it is a computer security course, which could be organized by any human rights organization. As for support for « financing », the facts mentioned concern humanitarian action.

Once again, the Free Mustapha Committee asserts that Mustapha’s imprisonment is fundamentally unfair and unacceptable and the Committee will continue to demand his immediate release, as well as the end of Belgium’s official silence around this affair.

This message was also delivered at meeting with the Foreign Ministry on the day of conviction in Israel by delegation composed of An Muylaert – Mustapha’s Belgian mother, Alexis Deswaef – Honorary President of the League of Human Rights, Pierre Galand – President of the ABP and the World Organization Against Torture, Hamdan Al Damiri, and Myriam De Ly – members of the Free Mustapha Committee.

The delegation firmly asked that Minister Reynders take a public stand that Belgium can not tolerate such violations of international law and human rights and calls for the immediate release of Mustapha Awad.
The Free Mustapha Committee has already organized a new protest action. It will take place on Tuesday, December 11, at 17:30 on the Grand Place of Mons.

Freedom for Mustapha! Freedom for all Palestinian prisoners!

———————————–
Persmededeling van Comité Free Mustapha – 29/11/2018

De Belgische arbeider en artiest, Mustapha Awad, is veroordeeld tot één jaar gevangenisstraf in Israël

Gisteren werd onze vriend Mustapha Awad veroordeeld door een Israëlische rechtbank tot 12 maanden gevangenisstraf.

Hij werd veroordeeld op basis van « bekentenissen » bekomen onder omstandigheden die onder de categorie martelingen kunnen ondergebracht worden (ondervragingen 20 u op 24, beroven van slaap…).

In werkelijkheid gaat het om een leeg dossier, over feiten waarvoor hij in België niet kan veroordeeld worden.

Mustapha wordt ervan beschuldigd lid te zijn van een « illegale» organisatie. Israël beschouwt elke organisatie die zich verzet tegen de bezetting en apartheid als illegaal. De Israëlische rechtbank spreekt over een « training» : in de feiten gaat het over een computer cursus over beveiliging van gegevens, die kan georganiseerd worden door gelijk welke organisatie die mensenrechten verdedigt. En in verband met steun aan « financieringen», gaan de feiten over een humanitaire actie.

Eens te meer stelt het Comité Free Mustapha dat de detentie van Mustapha fundamenteel onrechtvaardig en onaanvaardbaar is en zij zal verder blijveren ijveren voor zijn onmiddellijke vrijlating, alsook voor het stoppen van de officiële stilte van de Belgische regering rond heel deze zaak.

Een delegatie van het Comité Free Mustafa deelde dat op 28 november ook mee op het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken. Dit was op de dag zelf dat Mustapha werd veroordeeld. Deze delegatie bestond uit An Muylaert, de Belgische moeder van Mustapha, Alexis Deswaef, ere-voorzitter van Ligue des Droits de l’homme, Pierre Galand, voorzitter van ABP en van Organisation mondiale contre la torture en Hamdan Al Damiri, en Myriam De Ly, leden van Comité Free Mustapha.

De delegatie vroeg met aandrang dat minister Reynders publiek een standpunt inneemt, dat hij verklaart dat België schendingen van het internationaal recht en van de rechten van de mens niet kan aanvaarden en dat hij de onmiddellijke vrijlating van Mustapha Awad eist.

Het Comité Free Mustapha roept op tot een nieuwe protestactie. Deze zal doorgaan op dinsdag 11 december, om 17 h 30, op de Grote Markt in Bergen.
——————————

Communiqué de presse du Comité Free Mustapha – 29/11/2018

L’ouvrier et artiste belge, Mustapha Awad, a été condamné à un an de prison en Israël

Hier notre cher ami Mustapha Awad a été condamné par une cour israélienne à 12 mois de prison.
Il a été condamné sur base d’ « aveux » obtenus sous des conditions apparentées à la torture (mises au secret, interrogatoires musclés 20 h sur 24, privation de sommeil).

En réalité, il s’agit d’un dossier vide, portant sur des faits pour lesquels il ne pourrait pas être condamné en Belgique.

Mustapha est accusé d’appartenir à une organisation « illégale » : pour Israël toute organisation qui résiste à l’occupation et à l’apartheid est illégale. La cour israélienne évoque un « entraînement » : en fait, il s’agit d’un cours de sécurisation informatique, qui pourrait être organisé par n’importe quelle organisation de droits de l’homme. Quant au soutien à des « financements», les faits évoqués concernent une action humanitaire.

Une fois de plus, le Comité Free Mustapha affirme que l’emprisonnement de Mustapha est fondamentalement injuste et inadmissible et qu’il continuera d’exiger sa libération immédiate, ainsi que la fin du silence officiel de la Belgique autour de cette affaire.

C’est d’ailleurs ce qu’a communiqué une délégation du Comité, composée d’An Muylaert, la maman belge de Mustapha, Alexis Deswaef, président d’honneur de la Ligue des Droits de l’homme, Pierre Galand, président de l’ABP et de l’Organisation mondiale contre la torture et de Hamdan Al Damiri, et Myriam De Ly, membres du Comité Free Mustapha, au ministère des Affaires étrangères le jour même de la condamnation en Israël.

La délégation a demandé avec fermeté que le ministre Reynders prenne position publiquement, qu’il dise que la Belgique ne peut pas tolérer de telles violations du droit international et des droits de l’homme et qu’il réclame la libération immédiate de Mustapha Awad.

Le Comité Free Mustapha a d’ores et déjà organisé une nouvelle action de protestation. Elle aura lieu le mardi 11 décembre, à 17 h 30 sur la Grand’Place de Mons.

Liberté pour Mustapha ! Liberté pour tous les prisonniers palestiniens !

L’image contient peut-être : 4 personnes, personnes debout, chaussures et plein air
 

4 365 personnes atteintes

Belgium refuses to demand release of citizen jailed by Israel

Palestinian dancer Mustapha Awad pictured in Belgium, where he holds citizenship. (via Facebook)

Surrealism was once the preserve of painters in Belgium. Today, even the country’s diplomats appear to have mastered it.

For there is something surreal about how they are promoting the cartoon character Spirou as a human rights advocate, while refusing to stand up for a real-life Belgian artist whose human rights have been denied.

Mustapha Awad – an exponent of dabke, the traditional Palestinian dance – was arrested by the Israeli authorities in July. Awad is a Palestinian with Belgian citizenship. Yet the government in Brussels has been mostly silent about his continuing detention.

The silence was eventually broken last week. Didier Reynders, the Belgian foreign minister, tweeted that consular assistance was being provided to Awad and that Israel had been asked for clarification about the charges against him.

Reynders’ tweets were inexcusably timid.

Israel’s allegation that Awad belonged to a “terrorist” organization has been emphatically rejected by his legal team. The Israeli authorities have not presented any credible evidence – as Reynders has acknowledged – against Awad.

Mustapha Awad is a Palestinian who had never previously been to Palestine. Aged 36, he was born in Ein al-Hilweh, a refugee camp in Lebanon; Belgium recognized his refugee status when he was 20. Israel arrested him this summer as he tried to enter the occupied West Bank via Jordan.

Ill-treated

If Belgium takes its duty to protect all its citizens seriously, the government must demand Awad’s immediate and unconditional release.

The inference in Reynders’ tweets that Belgium is doing all it can does not hold up to scrutiny. It took almost three weeks until a Belgian diplomat went to see Awad in jail.

Awad has been prevented from making contact with family or friends. According to his lawyers, Awad has has been ill-treated, particularly through being deprived of sleep.

Reynders acted more swiftly when another Belgian citizen, Amaya Coppens, was detained in Nicaragua last month. She, too, was accused of terrorism.

Although he waited two-and-a-half months until making any public comment about Awad’s case, Reynders voiced his unease about Coppens’ situation within two days of her arrest. He made a point of discussing the matter with Nicaraguan representatives while visiting New York for the UN General Assembly.

Charles Michel, Belgium’s prime minister, was photographed shaking hands with Benjamin Netanyahu, his Israeli counterpart, during that gathering. There was no indication that Michel availed of the opportunity to push for Awad’s freedom.

Why is the Belgian government behaving so differently in these two cases?

Under Daniel Ortega’s presidency, Nicaragua has a strained relationship with the West. There is no major political or economic cost for Belgium to having a row with the left-wing administration in Managua.

Double standards

By contrast, Belgium boasts of its cordial relations with Israel. Sometimes, Belgian diplomats go so far as praising musicians from their country who bring a “great vibe” when they play Tel Aviv. Such inane praise overlooks how those musicians have refused to heed the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israel.

Belgium and Israel are significant commercial partners. Both Antwerp – Belgium’s second city – and Tel Aviv are important players in the global diamond trade, with extensive interaction between the two.

More than 40 percent of all Israeli goods imported to Belgium in 2017 were categorized as precious metals and stones.

The Belgian military is also a customer of Israeli weapons firm Elbit Systems.

Last year, Belgium briefly indicated that it may be willing to behave with a little less deference towards Israel. It took the lead among a group of EU countries in protesting the destruction caused by Israel to aid projects they had funded in the occupied West Bank.

The protest floundered – because Belgium did not accompany it with the threat of sanctions or a lawsuit. Predictably, Israel has kept on vandalizing Palestinian schools financed by the European taxpayer.

That was a vicious assault on the right to education. Yet rather than challenging Israel’s aggression, Belgium has been punishing Palestinians.

Belgium announced in September that it had cut off funding for schools administered by the Palestinian Authority. By doing so, Belgium capitulated to pressure from pro-Israel lobbyists objecting that one school bore the name of a Palestinian resistance fighter.

Israel habitually names streets and institutions after war criminals, and continues to openly celebrate the terrorists who bombed Jerusalem’s King David Hotel in 1946. That embrace of violence has never been an obstacle to Belgian support for the Israeli state.

As Belgium has a multicultural society, it should be proud of people like Mustapha Awad. He has led the Ra’jeen dabke troupe with great enthusiasm. I recall how he smiled radiantly at the end of a rousing performance by the group at a Brussels university earlier this year.

The refusal of Didier Reynders to demand Awad’s release smacks of double standards and, very possibly, racism.

Belgium’s foreign ministry is following a script that resembles George Orwell’s Animal Farm. All citizens are equal but some are more equal than others.

Campaign grows to free Belgian artist Mustapha Awad as labor unions, parliamentarians sign on

Supporters of Belgian-Palestinian artist, performer and human rights defender Mustapha Awad, detained by the Israeli occupation since 19 July 2018 when he was seized by occupation forces at the Karameh border crossing from Jordan, visited with representatives of the Belgian foreign ministry on Wednesday, 22 August. You too can take action to free Mustapha Awad! 

Awad’s arrest has sparked widespread condemnation from numerous Belgian and international organizations and individuals. Increasing attention has been drawn to the exclusion of BDS activists and human rights defenders from occupied Palestine and the interrogation of others at the colonially imposed borders. In this context, the arrest of Awad is a particularly chilling example of the seizure of a foreign citizen, who does not have a Palestinian ID, while he attempted to visit Palestine, the land from which his family was forced in 1948.

Rana Maher Daibes of Raj’een Dabkeh with Robert Verteneuil, president of the General Federation of Belgian Labor

As the case has become more visible in mainstream Belgian media, with both French and Dutch agencies reporting on the case, support for the imprisoned dancer – co-founder of the Raj’een debkeh group – has also grown. The FGTB (General Federation of Belgian Labour, the national socialist trade union federation in Belgium) endorsed the petition supporting Awad as did its president Robert Verteneuil. Belgian federal parliamentarian, Gwenaelle Grovonius, also signed on to the petition along with over 100 organizations and over 1,000 individuals.

Cultural groups like Presence et Action Culturelle and community groups and NGOs supporting Palestine and human rights like Intal, Vrede, Le Space and the Ligue des Droits de l’Homme in Liege have also joined the over 100 organizations supporting his call for freedom. See the list of organizational endorsers and sign the petition here.

The “Free Mustapha” Committee also issued a call for donations to help aid Awad’s legal defense in occupied Palestine and in Belgium.

“We need to raise money…There are no small donations, the smallest one will be a helping hand. We thank you in advance and do not hesitate to share the petition, the page, the press articles and the bank account number:

“Free Mustafa
BE96 7360 5044 3805.
BIC: KRED BE BB ”

 
The committee issued a press release following its meeting with the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Take Action!

You can help build the campaign to free imprisoned artist Mustapha Awad. Please join us by taking the following actions:

Sign on to the statement here as a group or an individual:  https://goo.gl/forms/DhqopQRBo5tNGNZj1

Join the Facebook page –> Free Mustapha Awad الحرية لمصطفى عوض https://www.facebook.com/freemustapha

Donate to the “Free Mustapha” committee legal fund. In Europe, you can send a SEPA Transfer to:
Free Mustafa
BE96 7360 5044 3805.
BIC: KRED BE BB

Take a “Free Mustapha” photo with the poster below and send it to the Committee at free.mustapha2018@gmail.com or submit it to the Facebook page.

Organizational Endorsers

AFPS 63
AFPS Nord-Pas de Calais
AFPS Paris-Sud
Al-Awda, Palestine Right to Return Coalition – NY
American Muslims for Palestine – NY
Amitié Sans Frontières,  Vriendschap Zonder Grenzen
Antwerp for Palestine
Asbl Aljabal
Association Belgo-Palestinienne
Association Charente Palestine Solidarite
Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine (AURDIP)
Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR), India
Bacbi: Belgian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
BADIL
BDS Berlin
BDS ULB
BRussells Tribunal
Bruxelles Panthères
Canada Palestine Association-Vancouver
Centre Culturel Arabe en Pays de Liège
Cercle des Étudiants Arabo-Européens de l’ULB
Comité de Vigilance pour la Démocratie en Tunisie
Comité pour une Paix Juste au Proche-Orient
Comite Verviers Palestine
Communauté Palestinienne en Belgique
Communist Party of Belgium
Communist Party (Sweden)
Coup Pour Coup 31
CSC Charleroi-Sambre & Meuse
Dar al Janub – Union for antiracism and peace policy
Diensten en Onderzoek Centrum Palestina (docP)
Een Andere Joodse Stem / Another Jewish Voice
Eglise Protestante Baptise La Fraternité
EuroPalestine
Familles de prisonniers pour la justice (Belgique)
FGTB Wallonie
Filipino Refugees in the Netherlands (FREN)
Freedom Archives
Free Palestine Movement
French Friends of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin
G3W/M3M (belgian NGO)
GAPP (Gents ActiePlatform Palestina)
Greek Front of Resistance and Solidarity with Palestine “Ghassan Kanafani”
Groupe Non-Violent LOUIS LECOIN
GUPS Aix-Marseille
Hand in Hand
Hannah vzw
Independent Jewish Voices – Canada
Inminds Human Rights Group
Intal
International Action Center
IJAN, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS)
Internationalt forum – Middle East group
Investig’Action
ISM-Northern California
Jacksonville Community Action Committee
Jacksonville Palestine Solidarity Network
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Justice Sans Frontières JSF Belgium
Käthe Kollwitz Vredesloop
Labor for Palestine
Le Space
Leuvense Actiegroep Palestina
Ligue des Droits de l’Homme de Liege
Links Ecologisch Forum/Forum Gauche Ecologie
London Palestine Action
Manchester Boycott Israel Group
Maramya ASBL
MCP
MOC de Charleroi-Thuin
Mouvement Citoyen Palestine
National Lawyers Guild Palestine Subcommittee
NY4Palestine
NZ Palestine Solidarity Network (New Zealand)
Paix Juste au Proche-Orient Ittre
Palestina Solidariteit
Palestina Solidariteit Herent / 11.11.11-Herent
Palestina Solidariteit Wetteren
Palestine Solidarity Committee – Austin, Texas
Palestine Democratic Forum
Palestinian Rights committee, Albany New York USA
Parallelo Palestina
Party for Socialism and Liberation
Peoples Video Network
Pittsburgh Palestine Solidarity Committee
Plate-forme Charleroi-Palestine
Plateforme Palestine Watermael-Boitsfort
Porte-parole du Collectif Judéo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine
Presence et Action Culturelles
Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide
Raj’een Dabkeh Group
Samidoun Göteborg
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Secours Rouge Canada
Secours Rouge de Belgique
Solidaris Namur
Solidarity4All
Studenten voor Rechtvaardigheid in Palestina – Amsterdam
Students for Justice in Palestine Houston
Students for Justice in Palestine, Temple University
Students for Justice in Palestine UCSB
Students for Justice in Palestine VUB
Students for Justice in Palestine, University of South Carolina
SUD Solidaires
The Rights Forum
Union générale des femmes palestiniennes en Belgique et au Luxembourg
Union Nationale des Mutualités Socialistes
Union of Palestinian Communities and Institutions – Europe
UPJB | Union des Progressistes Juifs de Belgique
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Victoria Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
Victory to the Intifada (Manchester)
Vrede vzw
Vriendschap صداقة  
Vrouwen in het Zwart, Vrouwen voor Vrede
V-SB (Flemish Socialist Movement)
vzw Victoria Deluxe
WALPURGIS
Werkgroep Vluchtelingen Gent vzw
Werkgroep Vrede en Ontwikkeling Watermaal-Bosvoorde
WESPAC Foundation


Published on Samidoun 26 August 2018 

A Belgian artist imprisoned by Israel: Free Mustapha Awad!

We are very concerned about the fate of our friend Mustapha Awad, a young artist and a Belgian worker of Palestinian origin. Mustapha was arrested by the Israeli authorities on 19 July 2018. There are very serious reasons to fear that he is or will be subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment during his detention.

Mr. Awad is a Belgian citizen of Palestinian origin; he was born in Ain el-Helweh refugee camp in Lebanon. Mr Awad was recognized as a refugee in Belgium. Since becoming a Belgian citizen, he decided to visit Palestine, his ancestral homeland.

He was arrested on the border between Jordan and Palestine by the Israeli armed forces who control the Palestinian borders.

Since then, he has been held in custody and interrogated.

For two weeks, Mustafa did not have a lawyer; no one could defend him or demand that his most basic rights be respected, such as having contact with his family members.

He only saw the Belgian consul on August 8, after 20 days of interrogation. On August 16, he appeared in court, but was again sent back to an Israeli interrogation center.

This situation is unacceptable. Palestinians imprisoned in Israel are subjected to torture and all kinds of violence during interrogations. This violence includes: physical assault, severe psychological pressure, prolonged sleep deprivation, etc. This abuse is legal under Israeli law. According to our sources, Mustapha was interrogated for 20 hours in a row at a time: three teams of interrogators took turns. In addition, Mustapha Awad has health problems and suffers from chronic, unbearable lower back pain.

Mr. Awad works in Belgium, has many friends and is a volunteer in several associations. He is an artist, performs on stage and is also a cultural worker and human rights defender. He is committed to the Palestinian cause.

As co-founder of the popular debkeh (Palestinian dance) troupe Raj’een, he has performed with the group at numerous events in Belgium and across Europe. Mustapha is a son, brother and friend of many – his family in Belgium, his family in Lebanon, his dear friends and a large community around the world that knows and supports his work.

Mustapha Awad must be released. He did not commit any crime. We are counting on Belgium to shoulder its responsibilities and protect its citizens against this arbitrary arrest and against all forms of torture and inhuman treatment.

Mustapha has always acted in defense of the human rights of Palestinians facing unjust imprisonment. Today, it is time to defend the rights of Mustapha.

Raj’een dabkeh troupe and the “Free Mustapha” Committee

Take Action!
You can help build the campaign to free imprisoned artist Mustapha Awad. Please join us by taking the following actions:

Sign on to the statement here as a group or an individual:  https://goo.gl/forms/DhqopQRBo5tNGNZj1
Join the Facebook page –> Free Mustapha Awad الحرية لمصطفى عوض 
https://www.facebook.com/freemustapha

Share this statement, the action call and the Facebook page with your friends, comrades and fellow supporters of Palestine. The campaign will be issuing more calls for action – sign up to stay involved!


Publié sur Samidoun le 17 août 2018

Financial support (EN)

Signing the petition is very important but we also need your donations. Indeed Mustafa has 2 lawyers one here in Belgium and one to defend him in Israël. So we need to raise money to pay them. There are no small donations, the smallest one will be a helping hand. We thank you in advance and do not hesitate to share the petition, the page, the press articles and the bank account number:

Free Mustafa
BE96 7360 5044 3805.
BIC: KRED BE BB