Several French trade unions issued a solidarity statement on 20 August 2021, calling for the freedom of detained Palestinian student Layan Nasir, a 21-year-old nutrition student at Bir Zeit University. She has been jailed since 7 July 2021, when Israeli occupation forces stormed and invaded her family home. Union Syndicale Solidaires, SUD Education, SUD Research EPST, Solidaires Student Union of Struggle and AURDIP (University Association for the Respect of International Law in Palestine), issued the joint statement (translation below) calling for Nasir’s immediate release.
She will be brought once again before an Israeli military court at Ofer prison on 24 August, where she is accused of “membership in an illegal organization,” in this case, the Progressive Democratic Student Pole, the leftist student bloc at Bir Zeit University. These arbitrary designations of Palestinian organizations as “unlawful” may be issued at any time by an Israeli military commander of occupation forces in the West Bank, and are used as a pretext to round up, detain and violently attack Palestinian organizations and movements.
There are currently hundreds of Palestinian students detained by the Israeli occupation. At Bir Zeit University alone, Nasir’s university, approximately 74 students were detained by occupation soldiers during the 2019-2020 academic year. Students are routinely and specifically targeted for Israeli colonial imprisonment and repression for their student activism, organizing student events and participation in student elections and other political and social activities on campus. Earlier in July, a UN panel declared that the imprisonment of Palestinian students Layan Kayed, Ruba Assi and Elia Abu Hijleh was unlawful and arbitrary, calling for their release.