Ofer - Interrogation of Witness, Women
Translation: Marganit W.
Again, reporting on the political trial of Khalida Jarrar, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Background: Khalida Jarrar, human rights and prisoners rights activist, was elected representative of the Popular Front [for the liberation of Palestine] to the Palestinian legislature. The elections were legal, but Israel insists on defining all Palestinian organizations in parliament as “proscribed organizations” or “terrorist organizations.” Several members of parliament have been accused of membership in Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and some are in jail or under administrative detention.
Jarrar was arrested on 2.4.15 by administrative order. On 15.4 she was officially charged and the administrative order was rescinded.
The indictment includes 12 counts of violations carried out between June 2009 and December 2013. One charge refers to September 2014: participation in a book fair organized by the Popular Front.
On 12.5.15 there was a hearing by Justice Major Balilty regarding alternative to detention. On 21.5.15 the request was approved. The prosecution appealed and won.
The trial began on 22.6.15, and since then there have been several hearings: two were postponed because witnesses did not show up, and on 24.8.15 two witnesses (declared ‘hostile’) described the torture they had undergone under interrogation.
Khalida Jarrar’s trial received much publicity around the world. Diplomats, Amnesty International and human rights representatives, members of Knesset from the Joint Party and Israeli activists regularly attend.
Why report so extensively on Jarrar’s trial (as I have done), when we don’t have time to report on all the anonymous prisoners?
Once, while waiting in the yard for a delayed hearing, Ghassan, Khalida’s husband – himself a former prisoner – spoke about his discomfort at seeing all the other families waiting for their loved ones’ hearings, and nobody reports on what happens to them.
And yet, I have decided to report on Khalida’s trial, since this is a political trial with clearly false allegations.
[See earlier reports]
In today’s hearing a prisoner was brought in to testify. After answering, “I don’t know” to several questions, he was declared a hostile witness. This was a strange hearing: the witness had only two answers to both the prosecutor and Atty. Mahmoud Hasasn, “Don’t know” and “Don’t remember.
The following question demonstrates how absurd the allegations are: [explanation: the prisoner has two brothers who were in prison and are now released] “Before your brother was released, a delegation of senior officers of the Popular Front came to your house to give presents to your family and to other families of prisoners. They gave you a plate as a token of appreciation from the Popular Front. Is this correct?”
The other witness summoned for today’s hearing did not show up. Additional summons will be issued.
The next hearing is set for 12.10.15.