Amnesty Calls for Release of Teen Arrested for Slapping Israeli Soldiers


More than two-dozen high-profile art and film figures, as well as athletes and academics, from the USA have signed a petition calling for the release of Palestinian iconic teen Ahed Tamimi who faces 12 charges and is being tried in an Israeli military court behind closed doors. After the prosecution read out the indictment, Tamimi's trial was adjourned until March 11.

The Palestinian girl was seen raising her hand in a victory sign as she walked into the courtroom with chains, whispering to her family members.

"The court made a decision to close the doors [to the trial] because they claim that it is in Ahed's best interest".

In this respect, the experts referred to various opinions on Israel adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention which have emphasized the right of children to be tried by a juvenile justice system rather than before military tribunals, in accordance with relevant global human rights law.

A trial began in military court for the Palestinian teen arrested in part for slapping and harassing Israeli soldiers standing guard in a West Bank Palestinian village.

Ahed and her mother have been held in Israel's HaSharon prison for nearly two months.

Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick, who created the world famous image of Che Guevara in 1967, has given the same heroic treatment to teenage Palestinian protestor Ahed Tamimi, 17. "I think they feel that it is in the court's best interest" Lasky said. It was revealed later that the Palestinian girl was upset after soldiers had shot her 14-year-old cousin in the face a day earlier.

The teenager has taken part in the marches and demonstrations since she was young.

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Ahed's mother, Nariman, also faces trial over her involvement in the slapping incident, in which she filmed Ahed with a cellphone camera calling on her fellow Palestinians to stab Israelis, throw rocks at them and offer themselves as suicide bombers in order to "liberate Palestine".

Lasky also pointed out that multiple court hearings relating to Tamimi had already been held that included a massive media and diplomatic presence, as well as that a video of Tamimi, which is the main subject of the trial, already went viral on social media. He later had a section of his skull removed and is recovering at home.

"None of the facts of this case would appear to justify her ongoing detention prior to her trial, particularly given the concerns expressed by the Committee on the Rights of the Child about the use of pre-trial detention and detention on remand", Lynk added.

On 1 January 2018, Tamimi was charged with a number of offences under Israeli military law, some stemming from the 15 December incident, and others dating back to April 2016. Aside from the charge of assaulting an IDF soldier, Tamimi is charged with five other offenses including stone-throwing, incitement and making threats against IDF soldiers. She was arrested at her home December 19 in the middle of the night and has been in detention ever since.

Senior Israeli government officials called for a harsh punishment.

He questioned whether European states, whose diplomats were excluded from the hearing, would take minimum measures - which they have failed to implement so far - to hold Israel accountable.

Video from the attack shows the mob haranguing and attacking the soldiers as they cried out.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Israel has ratified, states that minors can only be deprived of liberty as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate time, said Michael Lynk, a United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, in a statement.