Ofer - Sentence, Suspended Sentence
Translation: Marganit W.
Suspended Sentence as deterrence
Justice Major Meir Vigiser handed down his decision in the case of
Abdullah Mahmoud Muhammad Abu Rahmah, 997446703 - Case 4512/12
Abu-Rahmah is a 44-year old resident of Bili’in, a central figure in the popular struggle against confiscation of Palestinian land and against the occupation. He preaches non-violent resistance but at the same time he advocates “Sumud’ (adherence to the land)
[See earlier reports]
Two diplomats (from the EU and Belgium), a political activist, journalists and photographers attended the hearing.
On 10.5.12 a demonstration was held in Bitunia Checkpoint to commemorate Naqba Day. The army operated a tractor at the checkpoint to allow transfer of goods. “The defendant stood in front of the tractor and disrupted the work… He refused to leave the place,” Justice Vigiser read from the sentence sheet, adding, “The defendant was convicted for the violation of preventing a soldier from carrying out his duty.”
The judge cited the defendant’s earlier convictions from 2010 and 2011, when the main charge against him was inciting protesters in Bil’in, and for which he was sentenced to 16 months in prison plus suspended sentence. The suspended sentence expired so it could not be activated now.
The judge read the prosecution’s motion, “We need to send a message of deterrence to all those who disrupt the work of security forces in the region.”
Although the suspended sentence cannot be used to imprison Abdullah anew, a personal deterrence can be devised. Thus, the judge saw fit to impose the following penalties:
4 months suspended sentence for 3 years: the defendant must not engage in any violation involving violence or preventing a soldier from doing his duty.
In other words, the suspended sentence is a means to neutralize Abdullah and prevent him from taking part in the protests that he believes in. This is a punishment for anyone taking part in “proscribed” demonstrations, especially if he is a leader in the community.
And in order to make him suffer financially as well, Abu-Rahmah was fined 5000 shekels.
[See additional details published in +972 magazine]
The defense is considering to appeal the conviction.
We will follow up.