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Musa Abu Mariya Released from Prison

After nine days of imprisonment, on July 12, 2006 Musa Abu Mariya, a peace activist from Beit Ummar, was released from prison after a “military court for petitions in Judea and Sumaria regions” ruled that he should be released.

Musa was arrested on July 4th when he and international volunteers were walking on Palestinian land that was being bulldozed to build a wall around the settlement of Karme Tzur. He committed no crime other than a commitment to non-violent resistance against the wall and settlement expansion.

Although he was released and the prosecution provided no evidence, the judge banned him from protests on Palestinian land near the wall being built and allowed the prosecution to continue to interrogate him. The judge agreed to release him on bail of 3000 shekels with conditions. He must go to the police station in Gush Etzion each week for more questioning. He must live more than 3km from the construction site of the wall and not be closer than 1km from the wall, preventing him from going to other demonstrations.

He was charged with “participating in an illegal demonstration against the separation fence in which he broke the order of a closed military zone and brought other people with him to that demonstration who broke that order. And he attacked IDF soldiers when they tried to arrest him.”

The judge acquitted him of all these charges because a video tape provided by his defense that shows “that Musa did not use any kind of violence with IDF soldiers” and “the prosecution does not have any proof that he violated any laws”.

Musa was interrogated by the Israeli security, Shin Bet, for three days in the Gush Etzion prison, then transferred to Orfer prison near Ramallah for the remaining 5 days. Eight days is the maximum legal number of days that Palestinians can be held in prison without being charged or without due process. On the eighth day he was allowed to see his lawyer, Gabi Laski, for the first time, and on the nineth day he was released.