Brendan Lillis is dying: Call for help of Amnesty International


Some months ago, Nadezhda Banchik, member of Amnesty International USA, called for the release of Commander Arbi Zarmaev, a political prisoner who was very sick and was isolated, tortured and treated with neuroleptics in Bruges prison (Belgium).

Can she do the same for Brendan Lillis who is dying in the Maghaberry prison of Northern Ireland ?

Brendan Lillis, a 59 year old former Life-sentence political prisoner from West Belfast, in Ireland, is currently desperately ill in the medical wing of the notorious Maghaberry prison, in County Antrim. He suffers from the intensely painful and progressive disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis which due to other medical complications has left himunable to move from his bed for 14 months and his weight has dropped to a perilous 6 stones (38.1 Kilos !). Due to a series of serious infections and medication which has compromised his immune system, Mr Lillis has been unable to eat, sleep or hold down even liquids for a period close to a month and is constant agony. In short, his health has deteriorated to such an extent that his partner Roisin, who is his only contact with the outside world, fears that he will die in his prison bed! The doctor said her that he will live only 10 days now.


Arbi Zarmaev: Letter of Mrs Nadezhda Banchik to Minister Stefaan De Clerck

San Jose, April 20, 2011

Being a member of Amnesty International USA, and in addition, being myself an emigrant from the former Soviet Union, I am completely devastated hearing about the plight of Mr. Arbi Zarmaev, a Chechen, an asylum seeker from Chechnya. I was entirely desperate learning that Mr. Zarmaev was arrested in Belgium and subjected to beating and torture via forcible deprivation of food and drinking water, shackling, and sleep deprivation.

Information about torturing of any prisoner in Belgium, the EU member country, renown for its adherence to human rights and law obedience, make me think that our entire world is moving towards a new Holocaust, since the Holocaust was made possible when Western world completely rejected any protection for a human life at all and for a certain ethnic group in particular. That time such a group were Jews. This time, it seems to me, the Chechens are made an ethnic group for trade-off deals with criminal Russian regime.

I am afraid not only for a Chechen young man who is "guilty" only of defending his homeland from marauders, murders and robbers known to the whole world as Russian mafia state. It seems that Belgium authorities secretly decided to make Arbi Zarmaev slowly dying behind grates just for secret deal with Russian criminals! I am also afraid of your country’s reputation as reliable and law-obedient, human-rights protected country belonging to the Western civilization, that just recently was considered moral leader of the whole world. No more humane place in this world? No more Geneva Convention for a tiny group that was unlucky to be designed international scapegoat in the epoch of international "anti-terrorism" war?! But who is a bigger terrorist in this case? A Chechen who was forced to take arms to defend his home or the second army in the world that bombed out his homeland to rubbles?! Do you know that Russia killed more than 250,000 Chechens, including 40,000 children? And how many people did Arbi Zarmaev really killed? Ask him, please.

I urge you Mr. Minister, to do everything you can to stop this embarrassing case for your country. I hope you can urge your subordinates to free Arbi Zarmaev because he is not a criminal. In the worst, he could be considered prisoner of the war. However, in this case he is eligible for Geneva Convention protection. Anyway, he is eligible for Geneva Convention protection as an asylum seeker from the armed conflict zone.

Sincerely and hopeful

Nadezhda Banchik, Amnesty International USA member





Brendan Lillis dies: Open Letter to the British Prime Minister

Brussels, 12 July 2011

Prime Minister's Office

Dear Sir,

During years and years, I am working about human rights, so well on a national as international level.

I am very shocked by the violations of human rights and the many deaths and suicides in the prisons of Northern Ireland.

I refer to the case of Brendan Lillis in the Maghaberry prison of Northern Ireland where 5 men died during the last months.

Brendan Lillis is a very sick man. During several months, he is in bed. He cannot almost move or talk anymore. He can not eat or drink normally and risks every moment to die.

I wrote to Pauline McCabe, Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, who answered me that she 'can not be helpfull' while her service investigates since 2005 all the deaths in prisons.

We contacted Justice Minister David Ford who seems not to be worried about the life of Brendan Lillis and the inhuman situations in prisons.

May I pray you to intervene in this tragical case ?

Yours faithfully,

Jan Boeykens

Werkgroep Morkhoven
Contact the Prime Minister's Office


Photo: British Prime Minister, David Cameron

Friends of Brendan Lillis https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_182248348494841#!/home.php?sk =group_132734503459781


Maghaberry prison Northern Ireland: Call for action in U.S.


Let’s ensure the prison knows that we are paying very close attention from the US and elsewhere !

The Irish Freedom Committee is urging all supporters of Irish republican prisoners in the US to place a short phone call tomorrow to Maghaberry Prison Medical Center, to appeal for the immediate humanitarian release of Brendan Lilllis. Brendan’s fiancée Roisin has been told by prison doctors today that he has very little time left to live. Please call the Maghaberry Prison Medical Center tomorrow at the number posted below and ask to speak with Doctor Palmer. Please be polite but firm, and state that you are calling with your urgent concerns for Brendan Lillis, who you have learned is now close to death. Brendan has not left his bed in over a year and a half. You are calling to urge the immediate, compassionate and humanitarian release of this very ill man to his home; so that he may pass in peace with his loved ones around him. All charges against him have been dropped, so there should be no reasonable objection to this humane, and long overdue, decision. Brendan’s fiancée asks that we direct our appeals to Doctor Palmer as she believes that he is a humanistic person who has become frustrated with the system that is responsible for the continued internment of her critically ill loved one in jail without charge.


Use a calling card and a land line for your MINIMUM expense. Phone 011-44-28-9261-1888. Ask to be transferred to the Medical Center, and ask to speak to Doctor Palmer. Time zones in the US are behind Irish 5 hours on the East Coast, 6 hours Central US, 7 hours Southwest, and 8 hours in Pacific Northwest. Ideally you should ring between 9AM and 3PM Irish time. BRENDAN’S TIME IS SHORT, and this call will take you less that 5 minutes; and with a calling card, cost you very little. Thank you for your continued support to the families of Irish republican political prisoners.

by: Irish Freedom Committee, Inc.

IRISH FREEDOM COMMITTEE NEWSLIST http://www.irishfreedomcommitt​ee.net/


Friends of Brendan Lillis https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_182248348494841#!/home.php?sk =group_132734503459781

Here is a link for sample letters, printable petitions, and contact info: http://www.irishfreedomcom​mittee.net/POWs/BRENDAN_LI​LLIS.htm

Write to David Ford, Justice Minister. It will just take a minute to write a simple letter to tell him Brendan Lillis being held at Maghaberry is a cruel and inhuman treatment, and that he should be released.  Publish your letter on the Internet. Afterwards, the minister has not to come with the excuse that he ‘knew nothing about the tragical case’…

David Ford, Justice Minister
Department of Justice – Block B
Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Northern Ireland

Photo: Brendan Lillis




Human rights violations in Northern Ireland (3)

Brussels, 30.6.2011

Pauline McCabe, Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland

Dear Madam,

Concerns: the deaths in Maghaberry prison, Brendan Lillis actually dying in the Maghaberry prison

Thanks for your reply.

It is very strange that, while you are pretending to investigate the complaints from prisoners and the deaths in prison custody (from 1 September 2005 the remit of the Prisoner Ombudsman was even extended as required by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland), you ‘can not comment and can not be helpful’ in the case of Brendan Lillis who is very sick and is dying now in the Maghaberry prison of Northern Ireland where there were 3 deaths during the past 3 months.

You say that these matters are for Minister for Justice Ford and the prison authorities.

Many people wrote to Minister Ford and the prison authorities but they didn’t receive an answer.

Have they to wait until they can go to the funeral of Brendan ?

Don’t forget that you are an prisoner ombudsman. So, it is your work to DO something for prisoners.

Remember also that if you do not help a sick prisoner who risks to die, you can be prosecuted as this prisoner dies.

Yours sincerely,

Jan Boeykens
President of Werkgroep Morkhoven

Friends of Brendan Lillis

Photo: Pauline McCabe and her team

Human rights violations in Northern Ireland (2)

Pauline McCabe, Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland: ‘We investigate the complaints from prisoners and the deaths in prisons but we cannot be helpful’

PA/Prisoner. Ombudsman@prisonerombudsman.x.gsi.gov.uk
To: werkgroepmorkhoven@gmail.com
date: 28 juni 2011
Subject: RE: Prisoner Ombudsman Enquiry Form

Dear Jan

Thank you for your email in relation to Mr Brendan Lillis.

While we are aware of Mr Lillis’ situation, the Prisoner Ombudsman’s
remit extends to the investigation of complaints from prisoners and the investigation of deaths in prison custody.
We are not in a position, therefore, to comment on his continued detention. These matters are for the Minister for Justice and prison authorities.

I am sorry we cannot be more helpful.

Yours sincerely

Prisoner Ombudsman’s Office
22nd Floor, Windsor House
Bedford Street
Belfast BT2 7FT

Prisons in Northern Ireland: violation of human rights

Brussels, 29.6.2011

Pauline McCabe, Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland

Dear Madam,

I read that with effect from 1 September 2005 the remit of the Prisoner Ombudsman was extended as required by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to investigate deaths in Prison Service Custody.

There were now 3 deaths on 3 months, in the Maghaberry prison in Northern Ireland and Brendan Lillis who is very sick and lies during more than 450 days in bed, is dying in this prison.

He needs urgent help from you.

Jan Boeykens
President of Werkgroep Morkhoven

Friends of Brendan Lillis

Your message has been sent!




Maghaberry prison: Council delegation - Investigation

Motion relating to Maghaberry prisoners successfully passed in Newry & Mourne Council

I’m just back from the Newry & Mourne Council monthly meeting. I raised the prisoners plight highlighting the fact that the previous Council had agreed to send a delegation to investigate the prisoners concerns but postponed it when the August 12th agreement 2010 was passed. I proposed a motion that, in the light of the continued strip searching of prisoners it is vital that a Council delegation visit the prisoners as a matter of urgency. The motion was passed without objection.

Cllr. Davy Hyland



Prison News: British government violates human rights

The UK government violates human rights, as we can see in the case of Brendan Lillis, the Irish prisoner who is detained in the British Maghaberry prison and risks to die.

It is clear that the British Government lies about human rights….

The British Government lies about human rights:

Government, citizens and rights
Human rights

Anyone who is in the UK for any reason has fundamental human rights which the government and public authorities are legally obliged to respect. These became law as part of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Human Rights Act
The Human Rights Act 1998 gives further legal effect in the UK to the fundamental rights and freedoms contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. These rights not only impact matters of life and death, they also affect the rights you have in your everyday life: what you can say and do, your beliefs, your right to a fair trial and other similar basic entitlements.
Most rights have limits to ensure that they do not unfairly damage other people’s rights. However, certain rights – such as the right not to be tortured – can never be limited by a court or anybody else.
You have the responsibility to respect other people’s rights, and they must respect yours.
Your human rights are:
the right to life
freedom from torture and degrading treatment
freedom from slavery and forced labour
the right to liberty
the right to a fair trial
the right not to be punished for something that wasn’t a crime when you did it
the right to respect for private and family life
freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom to express your beliefs
freedom of expression
freedom of assembly and association
the right to marry and to start a family
the right not to be discriminated against in respect of these rights and freedoms
the right to peaceful enjoyment of your property
the right to an education
the right to participate in free elections
the right not to be subjected to the death penalty
If any of these rights and freedoms are breached, you have a right to an effective solution in law, even if the breach was by someone in authority, such as, for example, a police officer.

Exercising your human rights

If you are in a situation in which you believe that your human rights are being violated, it’s advisable to see if the problem can be resolved without going to court by using mediation or an internal complaints body.
Where you believe your rights have not been respected and you cannot resolve the problem outside court, you are entitled to bring a case before the appropriate court or tribunal in the UK. The court or tribunal will then consider your case.
Friends of Brendan Lillis:

The British Government about citizens and rights and human rights:


Prisons: Ireland still violates human rights

Ireland with its violation of human rights, is a good example of the 'freedom' and 'democracy' within the European Union...


Photo: Brendan Lillis, a seriously ill prisoner who is being held without charge at Maghaberry prison outside of Belfast.


Prisons of shame: Brendan Lillis, Ireland

Brendan Lillis – A Humanitarian Issue

“Trying To Save Brendan’s Life”

Brendan Lillis, a 59 year old prisoner from West Belfast is currently desperately ill in the medical wing of the notorious Maghaberry prison in County Antrim. He suffers from the intensely painful and progressive disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis which due to other medical complications has seen him unable to move from his bed for 14 months and his weight has dropped to a perilous 6 stones (38.1 Kilos !). Due to a series of serious infections and medication which has compromised his immune system, Mr Lillis has been unable to eat, sleep or hold down even liquids for a period close to a month and is constant agony. In short, his health has deteriorated to such an extent that his partner Roisin, who is his only contact with the outside world, fears that he will die in his prison bed!

Mr Lillis was an Irish Republican political prisoner who had been released on license but unfortunately was arrested for an attempted robbery over a year ago. Despite being judged unfit to stand trial due to his desperate medical condition, Mr Lillis is still being held in Maghaberry prison ‘on license’ due to his previous conviction for political charges and is in a Catch 22 situation where he can be held indefinitely at the ‘pleasure’ of the British ‘Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mr Owen Patterson, M.P. With the ‘Secretary of State’ having the power to release Mr Lillis, only public pressure will convince him to allow this prisoner out of prison to receive the medical treatment he so badly needs and to spend his remaining days with his family in a non-prison environment.

Mr Lillis’ case is a purely humanitarian issue but it is complicated by his political antecedents. Ankylosing Spondylitis, the condition that Mr Lillis suffers from is an intensely painful condition that begins with a curvature of the spine and it has now got to the stage where he is in extreme pain 24 hours a day with little relief and sub-standard medical care. TheMaghaberry prison ‘hospital’ is little more than a ‘sick-bay’ which is guarded by Unionist prison warders who would be antagonistic to Mr Lillis due to his Irish Republican past.

Roisin, Mr Lillis’ partner, is understandably beside herself with anxiety and is desperately looking for help with her fledgling campaign to have Brendan treated with dignity:

I am trying my best to highlight this but sadly I’m working alone and don’t have much experience this area but im trying my best……For the 1st 10 weeks he had no visits because he couldn’t get into a wheelchair and they wouldn’t let me into the jail, after a lot of debates with the jail i was eventually allowed to visit him in his cell which i have done since then. as you all no Brendan is now in a precarious situation and if he doesn’t get released from jail i am in no doubts he will die soon.

Mr Lillis’ case should be a concern for everyone on humanitarian grounds alone and it would appear that only public pressure will make the Secretary of State notice the plight of a seriously ill 59 year old man inMaghaberry prison who is in constant pain and whose weight has plummeted to a dangerous 6 stone.


Please sign the petition because he is now on a heart machine and needs real hospital care:

Open group — Friends.Of.Brendan.Lillis@groups.facebook.com


Arbi Zarmaev, Bruges prison: Open Letter to minister of justice

From: Jan Boeykens [mailto:werkgroepmorkhoven@gmail.com]
Sent: 19 April 2011 17:50
To: stefaan.declerck@just.fgov.be
CC: alfons.borginon@dekamer.be and six others

Cabinet Justice
Attn Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck
Boulevard de Waterloo 115
1000 Brussels

Dear Mr. De Clerck,

Concerns: Mr Arbi Zarmaev, Bruges prison

I received no reply from your part regarding my letter to you regarding Mr. Zarmaev, whom you were ready, after your contacts with the Russian embassy, to deliver to the Russian and Chechen authorities dead or alive.

The Zarmaev family received no response either to the four registered letters they sent to you over the past 21 months whereas at your cabinet's office we were reassured that "registered mail will always be answered".

Meanwhile I learned that Arbi Zarmaev has fallen victim to torture and isolation practices in the prisons of Hasselt and Bruges, and that he was treated with psychiatric drugs while locked up in his concrete cage of 2 x 3 meters, where a little light shines through the opaque frame attached to the ceiling.
The cage that actually is best described as a dog house, although a dog is undoubtedly better off in a dog asylum, is apparently only 1,5 metres wide, because the "bed" (if it deserves the word) is hardly wide enough to lie down on.

The prison psychiatrist who threatened that Arbi's brother was going to be locked up in an isolation cell if he was not going to shut up and who identified himself to the Italian doctor Giorgio Gagliardi as a regular doctor who was not aware of the psychiatric drugs Arbi had to swallow, would have described his behaviour a "uncontrollable and dangerous" when in fact he himself is a danger to others because he makes sure that other people are imprisoned under such circumstances.

Mr. Zarmaev is physically exhausted and is totally malnourished but apparently you refuse to hospitalize him despite my urging you to do this in letters to members of your cabinet and in open letters.

I learned that the injuries to Arbi's wrists and ankles almost went to the bone and were severely infected, resulting from the fact that during the 21 months of his imprisonment he had all the time had cuffs on his wrists and ankles. He thought it was the custom in Belgian prisons but, thanks to our letter, he begins to wonder why the other prisoners were not similarly cuffed.

According to his family all the money has disappeared from his account so that he cannot afford anything (additional food, television, stamps for sending letters, and so on).

May I ask you to respect the existing prison law?

Counting on your intervention in this matter, and awaiting your reply, I remain,


Jan Boeykens
Faiderstraat 10
1060 Sint-Gilles / Brussels

Photo: European Parliament, Brussels


International Day for the Freedom of the Palestinian Political Prisoners !


International Day for the Freedom of the Palestinian Political Prisoners ! - Pour la libération des Prisonniers politiques palestiniens ! Internationale Dag voor de Palestijnse Gevangenen !

Friday, 15 April 2011 12:00 - Demonstration at the European Commission, at the roundabout Schuman - Manifestation devant la Commission européenne, au rond-point Schuman - Demonstratie voor de Europese Commissie, Rond Punt Schuman

Alliance for Freedom and Dignity (AFD Belgique http://www.afdbelgium.org/afd/), Arab Commission for Human Rights-Commission arabe pour les Droits humains (ACHR http://www.achr.eu/), Association des Familles & Ami(e)s des Prisonniers – Vereniging van Families & Vrienden van Gevangenen (AF&FA), Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation (http://www.bbcf.ca/index.php), CAPJPO-EuroPalestine (http://www.europalestine.com/), Comité Action Palestine (www.comiteactionpalestine.org), Comité BDS-ULB, Comité Verviers Palestine, Coordination de l'Appel de Strasbourg (www.eutopic.net/coordination), Egalité (http://www.egalite.be/), Egalité Sans Guillemets asbl (ESG asbl), Free Gaza Movement (Belgiumhttp://www.freegaza.org/), General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS Belgium http://www.gups.org/ ), Gents Actie Platform Palestina (GAPP http://www.gentsactieplatformpalestina.be/), International Solidarity Movement France (ISM) ( http://www.ism-france.org/), International Solidarity Movement Gaza (ISM) (http://www.palsolidarity.org/), Links Ecologisch Forum (LEF) - Forum Gauche Ecologie (FGE) (www.lef-online.be), 
Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR, http://www.lcr-lagauche.be/), MCPalestine (http://mcpalestine.canalblog.com/), Palestina Solidariteit (http:// www.palestinasolidariteit.be), Stichting Palestijnse vrouwen in Nederland, Stichting Talliq - Recht voor Palestijnse kinderen (http://www.talliq.nl/ ), Stop de Bezetting (http://www.stopdebezetting.com/), Ufree - The European Network to support the Rights of the Palestinian Prisoners ( http://www.ufree-p.net/), Unie van Arabische Studenten (UvAS) (http://arabstudentsleague.blogspot.com/),

Luk vervaet (vervaetluk@gmail.com) en Marijke Kruyt (merelzang@hotmail.com



The Chechen refugee Arbi Zarmaev, who was tortured in the Belgian prisons of Bruges and Hasselt,is still isolated 24 hours to 24 hours in the prison of Bruges.  (More information via Google)


Arbi Zarmaev: Belgian Terror



Belgian Democratic Terror Against Chechen Human Rights Activist as a Response to his Engagement for the Rights of Chechen Political Prisoners

  On April 7, 2011 in the afternoon in the Belgian capital Brussels "unknown perpetrators" broke the window of the car of human rights defender Imran Ezhiev. The car was parked near the U.S. Embassy. ​​The criminals committed burglary. "Unidentified persons" stole a briefcase with important papers, including passports of the members of  Imran Ezhiev’s family, his driver's license, registration and insurance certificates for the car. Nobody took the expensive GPS navigator – this fact indicates it wasn’t an ordinary burglary. For a few days  Imran was followed and watched by some Russian-speaking people – there is no doubt they were agents of Russian secret services. Their actions were precise and coordinated – there are reasons to believe that they were able to eavesdrop on Imran Ezhiev’s telephone conversations. It could become possible only thanks to the coordination of their efforts with Belgian secret services. 
  The street, on which the car was parked, was under the observation of multiple video cameras. Simple thieves wouldn’t have dared to break the glass of a car in such a place. When Imran Ezhiev called the police, it refused to come to the crime scene, which again confirms the assumption that the Chechen human rights defender has become a victim of sabotage organized jointly by Russian and Belgian secret services. Belgian democrats and their Russian friends from Putin-Medvedev's  FSB were enraged by Imran Ezhiev’s active efforts to defend  the rights of Chechen refugee Arbi Zarmaev, incarcerated in Belgian democratic dungeons on false charges and currently being murdered by the democratic hangmen in the prison of Bruges. Imran Ezhiev has managed to pursue the Strasbourg Court to suspend Zarmaev’s extradition from Belgium to Russia. The extradition was suspended on April 5. 
  Arbi Zarmaev’s Belgian lawyer, to whom  the defendant's family has paid a large sum of money, is engaged in the unscrupulous sabotage. He tried to convince Imran Ezhiev, referring to a Belgian law from 1874 (!), that it was impossible to send an appeal to the Strasbourg Court. Imran Ezhiev invited to Belgium an Italian professor of psychiatry to examine Arbi Zarmaev. The lawyer exerted more effort than jailors to prevent the Italian professor from examining the tortured Zarmaev. Thanks to Imran Ezhiev’s  incredible perseverance the Italian professor finally was allowed to visit Zarmaev. 
  For a long time Arbi Zarmaev’s family members were prevented from visiting him. The prison administration claimed he allegedly "didn’t want to see anybody." On April 6th Imran Ezhiev managed to arrange Zarmaev’s meeting with his wife. What she saw was terrifying: her husband recognized her with difficulty, could not recognize his children. He was crawling on the floor with glazed eyes, was picking up some pills and all the time was muttering: "Fascist... Oh, Allah... Fascist ... Oh, Allah ..." His wife was shocked. Belgian democratic jailors turned her completely healthy husband  into a deranged animal. Probably they have caused irreversible changes in his mind. Arbi Zarmaev’s physical condition is as depressing as his mental one. For a long time his hands were handcuffed and his legs were shackled, which resulted in deep non-healing wounds. Zarmaev doesn’t have access to any medical care. His wounds are rotting, which can lead to gangrene. 
  Arbi Zarmaev’s relatives are so desperate that they want to ask to cancel the suspension of Arbi’s extradition to Russia. Their desperation is so great that they are already want  him to be extradited  to Russia in hope that in the Putin-Medvedev's concentration camp he will be treated somehow better than in the Belgian democratic prison. 
  I’d like to point out that Belgian politicians and human rights defenders, to whom Imran Ezhiev addressed his plea to help political prisoner Arbi Zarmaev, only made several phone calls to jailors and pretended to believe their assurances that Arbi Zarmaev’s situation was "improving." Even the Committee Against Torture of the Council of Europe didn’t want to help Arbi Zarmaev. 
  Belgian democrats have gotten mad at Imran Ezhiev probably also because he, in cooperation with MEPs Frieda Brepoels and Bart Staes, managed to secure the release of political prisoner Aslanbek Baysungurov – an invalid without legs, thrown into Belgian dungeons on absurd charges of "preparing terrorist attacks against the NATO facilities”. In addition, Imran Ezhiev has discovered that Belgian authorities hold in prisons on dim charges large numbers of foreigners – Armenians, Georgians, Uzbeks. Many of them have no idea why they were arrested. This reminds of Arbi Zarmaev’s story – he sat in jail for six months without an arrest warrant and without any charges. 

Eugene Novozhilov 
Brussels - Warsaw


Free Ameer Makhoul!

Ameer Makhoul.100129-nieuwhof


Omar Saeed's sister, Eman, and niece, Layla Taha, reported that they managed an apparently exceptional feat yesterday, given Israeli security arrangements, by getting a glimpse of him while he was being led back to prison from court, where his appeal was rejected.

And lo and behold.. his hands and feet were in shackles.

Layla herself was arrested over the same fabricated charges a few months back and was subsequently released. She reports that in addition to shackles, she was blindfolded at times. So one can only assume that the same applies to Ameer Makhoul and that these Guantanamo-esque practices are par for the course.
Nice going Shin Bet!!

Layla’s passport was confiscated upon release and the Israeli authorities are now playing a sordid game with her. They simply don’t know where it is. Are Omar and Ameer to expect to have to deal with the same petty tactics when they’re released!

Anyway, yesterday’s particular story had its own small happy ending. Layla and Eman cried Omar’s name; he looked up, blew them a kiss and gave them the victory sign...

Topic: Omar's family steal a glimpse of him


human rights, Israel, Shin Bet, democracy, prisoners, activists, Ameer Makhoul, torture
Free Ameer Makhoul !



Israel - Human Rights - Ameer Makhoul - Amnesty International



12 May 2010

Amnesty International has called on the Israeli authorities to end their harassment of a human rights activist whose week-long detention by the Israeli authorities was extended today. 

Ameer Makhoul, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, was arrested in a dawn raid at his home in Haifa, northern Israel, by the Israeli security services and police on 6 May. He has been charged with "contact with a foreign agent" on the basis of “secret evidence”. 

"Ameer Makhoul is a key human rights defender, well-known for his civil society activism on behalf of the Palestinian citizens of Israel," said Philip Luther, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme. 

"His arrest and continued detention smacks of pure harassment, designed to hinder his human rights work. If this is the case, we would regard him as a prisoner of conscience call for his immediate and unconditional release.” 

Ameer Makhoul has been denied legal advice throughout his detention. The doctor at the prison where he is held has informed his lawyer that he is suffering from pains in his head. 

On the morning of his arrest, Ameer Makhoul was taken to Petah Tikva interrogation centre and, at a hearing the same day, his detention was authorized for six days. Today it was extended until 17 May. 

According to Ameer's wife, Janan Makhoul, during the raid on their home, security forces confiscated mobile phones, laptops, a camera, and documents. 

The same morning, members of the Israeli security forces also raided the office of the association Ittijah in Haifa, where Ameer Makhoul works.   

Ameer Makhoul had already been banned from travelling for two months on 21 April by the Israeli Minister of the Interior Eli Yishai, who said at the time that Ameer Makhoul’s exit from the country “poses a serious threat to the security of the state”. 

The Palestinian activist was only made aware of the ban when he attempted to leave Israel on 22 April, where he was scheduled to begin a series of meetings with civil society activists in Jordan. 

When Amnesty International spoke to Ameer Makhoul in late April he expressed his concern that the travel ban was part of a broader pattern of state repression against the peaceful political activities of Palestinian citizens of Israel, justified under "security concerns". 

In January 2009, the Israeli Central Election Committee banned the National Democratic Assembly (NDA), a party which currently holds three seats in the Israeli parliament and calls for Israel to be "a state for all its citizens", and the United Arab List, which has four parliamentary representatives, from standing in Israel’s general elections under the claim that the parties supported terrorism and "did not recognize Israel's existence as a Jewish and democratic state".   

The Committee’s ban on the two parties was subsequently overturned by the Israeli High Court.   

On 24 April, Omar Said, an activist with the NDA was detained by the Israeli authorities.   

Initially a gagging order was imposed on the Israeli press to prevent reporting of Ameer Makhoul’s and Omar Said’s detentions. 

The lifting of the order led to reports in the Israeli media on Monday that the arrests of both men related to accusations of spying and contact with a foreign agent from Lebanese group Hizbullah. 

Ameer Makhoul has been the General Director of Ittijah, which works on behalf of the Palestinian community in Israel, since its foundation in 1995. 

He is also the chair of the Public Committee for the Defence of Political Freedom within the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee in Israel. 

"In the unlikely event that there are genuine grounds to prosecute Ameer Makhoul he should be charged with recognizable criminal offences and brought promptly to trial in full conformity with international fair trial standards," said Philip Luther.




"Free Ameer Makhoul--الحرية لأمير مخول--ישוחרר אמיר מח'ול": http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=115095168526586

על מנועי חיפוש, ישראלים חסרי סבלנות ומה שביניהם. http://freedomofsearch.blogspot.com/2008/05/blog-post.html

Gaza Prisoner Protest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4V8lEcFfBQ


ACTION court case: 12.5.2010

Ameer Makhoul.100129-nieuwhof

Stop repression of Palestinian civil society

Join the protest at Ameer Makhoul’s court case


Join the protest at the next court hearing of Ameer Makhoul, a Palestinian human rights defender and serves as the General Director of Ittijah – The Union of Arab Community-Based Associations and Chairman of the Public Committee for the Protection of Political Freedoms in the framework of the High Follow-up Committee for the Arab Citizens of Israel.


Wednesday, 12 May 2010 , 10 am (court hearing: 10:30 am)


First Instance Court at Petah Tikva

Bazel Str. 1, at the corner of Shimshon Street

in front of Rabin Hospital – Bellinson


For a google map see: http://bit.ly/afSo7d)


For more details, please contact: Adv.Hussein Abu Hussein, Ittijah, Chairperson, 054-5428860




On May 6, 2010 at 6 am the Israeli General Security Service accompanied by Israeli police raided his home in Haifa and arrested him. Makhoul is still not allowed to see his lawyer.

Ameer Makhoul’s arrest, detention and a previously imposed travel ban are based on emergency regulations and “secret” information that is never disclosed to the defense. They are a flagrant violation of the UN Declaration and the EU guidelines on Human Rights Defenders. Palestinian human rights of freedom of movement, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association as well as the right to protection from arbitrary arrest are daily violated.

Israel blatantly disregards all democratic principles in order to prevent Palestinian – and indeed all - civil society to speak out and to crush the popular movement to defend the rights and existence of the Palestinian people.

Mr. Makhoul’s case is only one example amidst a recent escalated campaign by Israeli authorities against Palestinian human rights defenders and civil resistance. In addition to arbitrary arrest and detention, Israeli authorities have applied travel bans against a number of Palestinian human rights defenders in recent months.

Israeli authorities have also started to target Palestinian, Israeli and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as part of their wider campaign against Palestinian human rights defenders. Measures used include raids of organizations’ offices, deportation of organization staff and volunteers, a new policy of visa denials for international NGO workers, and pending legislation in the Knesset that would enable the Israeli government to close down any organization that gives information to foreign actors or participates in legal efforts outside Israel to try Israeli officials for war crimes.



"Free Ameer Makhoul--الحرية لأمير مخول--ישוחרר אמיר מח'ול": http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=115095168526586


על מנועי חיפוש, ישראלים חסרי סבלנות ומה שביניהם. http://freedomofsearch.blogspot.com/2008/05/blog-post.html

Gaza Prisoner Protest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4V8lEcFfBQ