Two months of detention for Belgian Mustapha Awad: committee calls for action

The Free Mustapha Committee issued the following press release on 19 September, the two-month anniversary of the detention of Belgian-Palestinian artist and metalworker Mustapha Awad. Samidoun joins the Committee in reiterating its demand for the immediate, unconditional release of Mustapha Awad and for action on the part of the Belgian government to defend its citizen subjected to arbitrary detention, torture and political imprisonment. To sign on to the call to action, visit the campaign form. We urge all to attend the protest next Wednesday in Brussels to demand Mustapha’s freedom! 

Press release, Wednesday, 19 September

Today marks two months since our dear friend Mustapha Awad, a Belgian citizen of Palestinian origin, was arbitrarily detained by the Israeli authorities.

Mustapha is an artist and co-founder of the Raj’een Dabkeh Group, a human rights defender, a metalworker and a resident of Aalst. This summer, he decided to visit Palestine, the land of his grandparents.

His arbitrary arrest and detention is very disturbing. Mustapha has been subjected to inhuman treatment, amounting to torture, while under interrogation. During these two months of detention, Mustapha has been denied even the opportunity to call his family. On October 2, he will appear for the third time before an Israeli court.

Friends of Mustapha, fellow members of his dance troupe and representatives of organizations defending Palestinian rights have come together to form the Free Mustapha Committee.

This committee has collected 2,668 signatures in one month for a petition calling for Mustapha’s release. 177 organizations have signed this petition, including 84 Belgian organizations (see list below).

More than 300 people participated in a photo campaign, including prominent figures such as:: Alain Platel, founder of Ballets C de la B; Anya Topolski, founder of EAJS, Een Andere Joodse Stem (Another Jewish Voice); Robert Vertenueil, President of the FGTB-ABVV; Fatiha Dahmani, union secretary of LBC-NVK; Anne Morelli, retired professor at the Free University of Brussels and Belgian historian; Eyal Sivan, Israeli filmmaker and writer; Josy Dubié, former journalist and senator; Dominique Surleau, General Secretary of Présence et Action Culturelles (PAC) …

The signatories of the petition call on Belgium to assume its responsibilities and protect its citizens.

The Free Mustafa Committee praises the work of the administration and the consul, who met Mustapha several times. The Committee expects that Minister Reynders must address Prime Minister Netanyahu rapidly and that Mustapha, who has been detained for 62 days, must be released as soon as possible.

In the meantime, the Free Mustapha Committee is calling for a demonstration in front of the Israeli Embassy, ​​Avenue de l’Observatoire 40, 1180 Uccle, on Wednesday, 26 September, from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

The Free Mustapha Committee

(Source / 23.09.2018)

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