I received this earlier today about the Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp on the West Bank:
Dear AllSomething terrible is happening at the Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp on the West Bank. You may know that one of its founders and its first artistic director, Juliano Mr Khamis, was murdered last year. No one has been arrested for the crime and since then the theatre has been frequently harassed by the Israeli Army. In the early hours of Wednesday morning the new artistic director, Nabil Al-Raee, was taken from his house by armed Israeli soldiers and detained. He is now in the notorious Jalameh detention centre.I’m a member of the International Board of the Freedom Theatre. Its Managing Director, Jonaten Stanczak, has asked supporters of the Theatre to email and make phone calls to the Israeli Authorities demanding Nabil Al-Raee’s immediate release.I’ve been making calls. It is difficult to get through to some numbers but the Israeli Army passed me through several ‘gates’ and I ended up with the Israeli Army Spokespersons Unit in Tel Aviv. This is all a matter of pinpricks but something that we can do. The number is 00972 036080202. Nabil Al-Raee’s ID number is 906349162.
There is also grave concern for Zakaria Zubeidi, being held by the Palestinian Authorities in Jericho and denied any contact with his family or his lawyer.
And below is Jonaten’s press release about the events of Wednesday morning and an update.Could you send this email on to anyone you think may also help?To Better Days, as they sayHoward
Press Release from The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp, northern West Bank
June 6, 2012
At approximately 03:15 am the Israeli army entered the home of Nabil Al-Raee, the Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre, and took him to an unknown location.
Nabil’s wife, Micaela Miranda explains what happened: “The dog started barking so I went outside and saw soldiers jumping over the gate and come into the yard of the house. They asked for my husband and I asked what for, that it’s my right to know and it’s my house. The soldiers replied that they were not going to tell me. They then took Nabil, brought him to an army jeep and drove off. We are very worried because we don’t know where they took him and why.”
Jonatan Stanczak, Managing Director of The Freedom Theatre: “I live on the floor above Nabil and when I heard what was happening I tried to go down to talk to the soldiers because I speak Hebrew. The house was surrounded by masked Israeli soldiers and three of them immediately pointed their weapons at me and pushed me back into the house.”
Attempts were immediately made to contact the District Coordination Office of the Israeli army but to no avail.
More than half the employees of The Freedom Theatre were recently called to interrogations by the Israeli army, including Nabil Al-Raee. All came to the appointments as scheduled and answered to their best of their knowledge the given questions even though they were intimidated and even threatened.
Jonatan Stanczak continues: “I don’t understand why they do this after they know they could simply have made a phone call to Nabil and he would have come to answer any questions or concerns that they might have. Since this has happened so many times in the past, I can’t interpret it as anything else than an ongoing harassment of the employees of The Freedom Theatre and their families by the Israeli army.”
At this point it is unclear if any other members of The Freedom Theatre have been taken during the night. Several of them have not responded to phone calls.
For further information Jonatan Stanczak, the managing director of The Freedom Theatre can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org and +972-(0)599-017-654
Micaela Miranda can be reached on email@example.com and +972-(0)597-016-230.
ACTION ALERT: FREE NABIL AL-RAEE AND ZAKARIA ZUBEIDI
Zakaria Zubeidi held in unlawful detention by the Palestinian Authority
Zakaria Zubeidi, co-founder and avid supporter of The Freedom Theatre, was arrested by Palestinian security forces on the 13th of May and taken to Jericho prison. Since then Zakaria has not been allowed to meet his lawyer Farid Hawash or have any contact with his family.
“I am unable to determine if Zakaria has been treated correctly since I haven’t been able to talk with him,” says Mr. Hawash. “We have to apply the correct procedure of Palestinian law; as his lawyer I must be allowed to meet with my client.”
According to his lawyer, Zakaria’s arrest has not followed due process since he should have been brought before a Jenin court and not taken away to Jericho. His right to communicate with his family after a maximum of 10 days has also been violated, as has his right to consult with a lawyer. After having travelled to Jericho Mr. Hawash was only able to see Zakaria for a minute to say hello.
We ask you to contact the following representatives of the Palestinian Authority to demand that they abide by Palestinian law in the case of Zakaria Zubeidi and other detainees. Please also check if you have a PLO representative office in your country.
00-970-(0)59-777-88-87 Majd Faraj, Head of Palestinian Intelligence
00-970-(0)59-900-00-11 Abo Mohammad Shadeh, Head of the security of the President’s Office
00-970-(0)59-944-75-47 Dr Said Abo Ali, Minister of Interior
00-970-(0)59-930-38-50 Saeb Erekat, Head of negotiations
00-970-(0)59-955-88-22 Ataeb Abdurahem, National Security
Nabil Al-Raee held in unlawful detention by the Israeli army
Nabil Al-Raee, Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre, was abducted in the early hours of yesterday, June 6th, by the Israeli army
(see previous press release here: http://thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=238).
According to Nabil’s lawyer, Smadar Ben-Natan, he is presently being held in the Jalameh detention centre north of Jenin, inside Israel. This has been the only information given to the lawyer thus far. The interrogations at Jalameh and other military detention centres commonly involve inhuman treatment; sleep deprivation, psychological pressure and binding in painful positions.
This is the Israeli army’s fourth attack on The Freedom Theatre, its employees and their families. On numerous occasions The Freedom Theatre has expressed its full cooperation in the investigation of the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis and has proved this cooperation by meeting every requested appointment.
This last abduction of Nabil Al-Raee has led us to the conviction that the regular and systematized harassment of the employees of The Freedom Theatre has nothing to do with the investigation of the murder of Juliano but that it is clearly a campaign directed at the Freedom Theatre itself.
We urge all supporters of The Freedom Theatre specifically and protectors of art and culture in general to call and e-mail the nearest Israeli representative office to demand the immediate release of Nabil Al-Raee (ID-number 906349162) and an end to the systematic harassment of the members of The Freedom Theatre. In addition, please call the District Coordination Office of the Israeli army at +972-(0)4-640-73-12.
For more information, or to share the responses and reactions of your calls, please contact The Freedom Theatre at firstname.lastname@example.org