Ofer - Appeal, Popular Struggle
Translation: Marganit W.
“As for Disturbances of the Peace: (on 1.11.17), a witness identifies the accused as a major inciter, since he is the one who set up the table with a Balfour effigy.”
Judge: Lieut.Col. Sharon Keinan
Remand extension hearing in the case of
Munther Aluara Amira
Defense: Atty. Gaby Lasky
Munther Amira, born in 1971, is from Aida Refugee camp.
He has been detained since 27.12.17.
Munther is an activist known for non-violent activity of the Popular Committees. The Spanish Consul and a representative of an international organization were present in court, as well as a Palestinian activist and the detainee’s wife and brother.
There are 13 charges, all relating to disturbances (remember: in the court’s parlance, every rally in the Occupied Territories is deemed ‘disturbance of the peace’: Palestinians do not have the right to protest. – N. A.)
The prosecution brought 25 witnesses testifying that the accused carried placards and set up a table with a Balfour effigy on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour declaration. Some claim he also threw rocks. One witness claims she saw him “provoke the police.”
The main charge refers to an event on 22.12.17 when he was photographed “repelling a smoke grenade lobed toward him.” In court parlance this is called “throwing objects.”
The Judge’s decision: “Having considered the relevant issues, I noted the accused’s clean record, his age and the fact that, judging by the attached photos, his face was not covered, so his identity was easily established. Even though there are discs recording the demonstration, there is no picture showing the accused throwing rocks.
Thus, I order his release under conditions that will guarantee the public safety and prevent him from participating in further disturbances.:
Two guarantors, each vouching 15,000 shekels.
He is prohibited from participating in marches or demonstrations with more than 10 people for 6 months.
Arraignment hearing was set for 21.2.18.
The prosecutor requested a 72-hour delay to appeal the decision.
(Atty. Haya Abu Varda later told me that an appeal had been submitted.)
If this were not such a tragic tale, this could be a wonderful theater play. For instance, Munther is accused of wearing a mask on one occasion, but then it turned out that he had put on a Santa Claus costume for Christmas.
It is important to note that even though the judge released Munther on bail, the spirit of the court is implied in his decision: “release under conditions that will ensure public safety and remove him from demonstrations and protests.”