Days of Palestine

Thursday, February 9

Palestinian clown released from Israel jail

Days of Palestine -

Palestinian circus performer who was held by Israel using its controversial administrative detention policy was released late last month.

Twenty-four-year-old Mohamed abu-Sakha was detained on December 14, 2015 while crossing Zaatara military checkpoint near Nablus.

He was on his way to work in Birzeit village near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. He has never been charged or tried.

However, at a hearing on December 5, 2016 at the Israeli High Court, the judges told Mohamed’s lawyer that secret “evidence” provided by the Israel Security Agency supported the claim by security forces that he posed a “threat to the security of the State of Israel.”

The lawyer says no new evidence was added to his wife since Mohamed’s arrest in December 2015.

“However, the system of administrative detention means that neither Mohammad nor his lawyer could review ‘evidence’ against him, and therefore were unable to defend the case,” Amnesty said.

Following news of his release on August 31, Amnesty said it was “so happy” its staff were “doing cartwheels.”

Mohamed used to teach circus skills at the Palestinian Circus School in Birzeit, near Ramallah, where he specialises in working with children with learning difficulties.