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Ezra Nawi’s Appeal

March 2, 2010

Via Support Ezra

On Wednesday, March 3, at 13.30, the Jerusalem District Court will hear Ezra Nawi’s appeal.

We will stand there, outside and inside the court, starting at 13.00, to show our support to Ezra and protest against the continual attempt by the Israeli authorities to silence legitimate protest by spurious accusations.

In March 2009, the judge Eilata Ziskind of the Jerusalem Magistrate’s (Peace) Court found Ezra Nawi guilty of assaulting a police officer and participation in a riot during a house demolition of a tin shack in the West Bank Palestinian village of Um el-Hir in the south Hebron hills, back in 2007. Nawi protested against the demolition by lying in front of a bulldozer, and later running into the shack before its demolition. Although throughout the whole incident Ezra kept to his principle of non-violent protest, in the end, he found himself arrested and charged with the aforementioned accusations that eventually led to his conviction based on the sole testimonies of two police officers who claimed that Nawi attacked them inside the shack. In addition, the judge Ziskind ruled that Ezra’s behaviour exceeded the limits of legitimate protest and therefore convicted him of rioting.

The District Court will hear Ezra’s appeal and will decide whether or not Ezra indeed participate in a riot, and peruse the reasons that led Ziskind to believe the police testimonies and not Ezra’s.

The Committee Supporting Ezra added, “Ezra’s trial is a stark example of the Police’s and the DA’s depraved use of severe charges such as assaulting a police officer and participating in a riot in order to silence and punish activists who take part in demonstrations inside the boundaries of legitimate protest. We hope that the district court tomorrow will perceive and rectify the series of shortcomings that are alarmingly apparent in Ezra’s conviction. Ziskind’s interpretation of the right to protest might serve as a dangerous precedent that will cripple and paralyze this vital right in a democratic society.”

The hearing will take place tomorrow, March 3, in the Jerusalem District Court, Salah Ed-din Street, at 13.30.

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