Ofer - Sentence, Administrative Detention
Translation: Eldad K.
We attended in order to observe two trials: Ataf Alyan (a female prisoner) and Rasmi Hatib.
Judge Menahem Lieberman
Defense: Asmahan Abd-Elhadi from the office of Haled A'aradj
Background: Ataf Alyan was a member of the Islamic Jihad organization and has been arrested for the first time 15 years ago. Since then she has stayed intermittently in Israeli prisons. After her last release she was married, had a daughter and opened a kindergarten in Bethlehem of which she is the driving force together with other women - all of these activities taking place in between arrests and prison sentences. This time apparently she was arrested because her husband, Walid El-Hudeli, is in administrative detention and through the arrest of his wife the prosecution wanted to exert pressure on him, so that he confessed or possibly to cooperated with the secret service.
Verdict: in the case of Ataf Alyan there are 4 indictments: the first is helping the Islamic Jihad and 3 other items are related to a movement called "Nekahah"? (we did not hear the name clearly). The first indictment is based on the testimony of one Wadahah Hatukah.
The judge says that it is impossible to rely on this testimony and acquits the defendant. On the three other counts he says: you have indeed performed the acts you are accused of, but the organization was not forbidden. I studied the matter and I decided that the organization is indeed forbidden and the publication of this fact was according to law and therefore you are guilty of these three counts.
As for the punishment - there are two questions: did the defendant know that the organization was forbidden and how did the authorities make this fact known. The answer to these questions bears on the measure of punishment. Verdict will be pronounced in the afternoon.
In the afternoon the court was in session again. An uncle and an aunt brought the daughter, Aisha, three years old, dressed up nicely with a ponytail, smiling, and sat down on the bench for the public. The mother sat on the defendant's bench, her face covered with the traditional white scarf, and she stretches out her hand and tries to talk to her child, say hello to mommy, say hello to mommy. The child slid down from her aunt's knees and tried to get close to her mother but the soldiers stopped her and the judge smiled and said: no, no, that's impossible. Stop her.
The whole event took maybe 5 minutes. The verdict was deferred until 26 Nov. 2007 - next Monday.
Rasmi Hatib: the previous chapter in his saga was reported on by Hagit S. on 16 Sept. 2007: (at the time translated by me and due to appear in the Netherlands press as a symbol of Israeli military justice).
Rasmi pleads not guilty. His mother is present in the room and is very happy to see us. The lawyer Fida Kawwar stands in for Haled Al A'araj and requests to show proofs. The prosecution does not oppose this and the next hearing is slated for 14 April 2008, which is 5 months in the future. In the meantime this handicapped youngster will remain in jail.