"It's not about my politics. Something happened way to quick. A bunch of men who played it sick. They divide and conquer" -- Husker Du

Friday, July 01, 2005

Global solidarity with Dr. Maslamani

Last June 6, Dr. Ahmad Maslamani was arrested at the dead of night in his Jerusalem home, in front of his children. Three weeks later he is still detained. It is an experience shared with many other Palestinians who do not wish to hide their concern for the well-being of their people. But Dr. Maslamni is not just anybody. He is the director of the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC), an organization providing health services throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories and one of our partner organizations.

To add insult to injury Dr. maslamani doesn't even know why he was arrested by the Israeli special forces. Although he was brought to court already four times, no charges have been filed yet. Apparently, the Israeli authorities prefer to leave him in limbo in order to break his morale.

They might be waiting in vain. Since his arrest, solidarity with Dr. Maslamani is snowballing. People from all over the world are sending him solidarity messages. We had hardly informed our other partner organizations or Dr. Eleanor Jara, Ahmad's colleague from the Philippine Council for Health and Development, wrote us: “Please include us among the peoples of the world who are asking the Israeli government to free the good doctor now.” Organizations from Nicaragua, Iran, France and the United States quickly followed suit.

Also individuals from countries as divers as Iceland, Senegal and Israel expressed their solidarity. “My solidarity with Dr. Maslamani comes from the bottom of my heart because I know the consequences of his imprisonment are heavy for the Palestinian people,” writes Agn├Ęs Machiels.

Others put Dr. Maslamani's arrest in its political context. Enrique Ferro writes: “I am concerned with Dr. Ahmad Maslamani's plight, and I wish him a quick release. For all my experiences in Palestine, and after some time following the events in the occupied territories, and spreading on a daily basis news and analyses about all that, I cannot still come to terms with all the injustices suffered by the Palestinian people, whose only guilt appears to be their existence, and the fact that they are the legitimate inhabitants of Palestine...”

In Belgium, many people relayed their concern to the Belgian minister of foreign affairs and to the Belgian embassy in Tel Aviv. As a result, the Belgian ministry of foreign affairs assured them that they would monitor Dr. Maslamani's case closely.

The current wave of solidarity with Dr. Maslamani appears to be far from over. Several websites have copied the call for solidarity messages. Some people are asking for more addresses of agencies they could involve and a big US human rights organization requested more information so they could launch an urgent action alert. Whatever happens to Dr. Maslamani, the world is watching closely.

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