International NGO Human Rights Watch has reiterated its condemnation of the Israeli military court system, amid the ongoing trial of two Palestinian human rights defenders facing charges related to their activism.
Issa Amro, founder of the Hebron-based group Youth Against Settlements, and Hebron-based lawyer Farid al-Atrash, who is the head of the southern division of Palestinian statutory watchdog Independent Commission of Human Rights, were both arrested for participating in a peaceful protest in February 2016.
They were later charged with “demonstrating without license,” “entering a closed military zone,” “incitement,” and “obstructing an officer.”
The march in question commemorated the 22 years since extremist American-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Muslim Palestinian worshipers, killing 29 and injuring more than 120 in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994.
The demonstration also called for the reopening of al-Shuhada street, which was shut down soon after the massacre, and called for the removal of discriminatory restrictions on movement placed on Palestinians in the city.
Al-Atrash has vehemently denied charges claiming he attacked Israeli soldiers, with video footage of the arrest showing him standing and holding a poster peacefully in front of Israeli soldiers when he was pushed, dragged, and then violently arrested by a number of soldiers.