Zakaria Zubeidi, co-founder of The Freedom Theatre and central figure of the Palestinian resistance, was held in Palestinian Authority prison from May 13 to October 1 when he was released on bail. No charges or evidence of wrongdoing were presented against him until late September and he was severely mistreated. As a response, Zakaria Zubeidi initiated a complete food and fluid strike. He was told by doctors he only had days to live. On October 7 there was a court hearing to determine whether Zakaria was to be indicted or not but the only decision made was to postpone the hearing until October 14. Let's keep up the pressure to make sure that Zakaria is treated inaccordance with Palestinian and international law!
Zakaria Zubeidi is known worldwide as a leader of lawful cultural resistance and we are outraged at his current treatment, which is designed to circumvent Palestinian law. Mr Zubeidi has been juggled between military and civilian legal systems and has for long periods of time been held at facilities run by the Palestinian Preventative Security Forces, with his case handled by the Military Prosecutor’s Office. This is despite Mr Zubeidi’s civilian status, and the limit imposed by Palestinian law, which says detention by the Preventative Security forces, must be limited to 24 hours. Mr Zubeidi was imprisoned in Jericho despite the fact that he has been interrogated in connection to an incident that took place in Jenin. We believe this is also illegal according to Palestinian law. Furthermore Mr Zubeidi was arrested without a warrant and his family was not notified until several days later.
Recently Human Rights Watch issued the following statement: “"For more than four months, the PA has violated Zubeidi's basic due process rights to be charged and tried, and continues to ignore his statements that interrogators tortured him. The PA's foreign donors should urgently pressure it to end the impunity and arbitrary detentions that Zubeidi's case exemplifies and that he is risking his life to protest."
We call upon you to take urgent steps to ensure that Zakaria Zubeidi is guaranteed a fair trial for any allegations for which there is sufficient evidence to stand up in court. We ask you to ensure that Palestinian law is upheld in this matter, as well as in all other matters involving illegal imprisonment or treatment of prisoners.
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