ADC Press Release:
ADC Condemns Arrest, Beating of Mustapha Barghouti, International
Delegates, by Israeli Authorities

Washington, DC, Jan 2 -- The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
(ADC) today strongly condemned the arrest and beating of Palestinian
human rights activist Dr. Mustapha Barghouti by Israeli occupation
authorities in East Jerusalem, and launched a formal complaint with the
State Department.  Members of an international delegation acting as
human rights observers in occupied Palestine were also attacked and
beaten by Israeli police during the incident.

Dr. Barghouti, a noted public health and human rights activist and head
of Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committee, was arrested by
Israeli police during a press conference at the American Colony hotel in
occupied East Jerusalem this morning.  The Grassroots Delegation for the
Protection of the Palestinian people was presenting a report into human
rights abuses by Israeli occupation forces.  Dr. Barghouti was held for
three hours without being charged at a police station and was then,
without explanation, transported by police car to the Al-Ram checkpoint,
which separates East Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah.  At
the checkpoint, as Dr. Barghouti began speaking to journalists and
members of international delegation, he was attacked and beaten by
members of the Israeli police.  He was left with wounds on his both
hands, a foot and his nose.  His eyeglasses were smashed and he was
choked with his own necktie.  As members of the international delegation
tried to protect him, they were also beaten by Israeli police, who used
tear gas and sonic weapons during the attack.  One of them, Louisa
Morgantine, a member of the European Parliament who showed her
credentials to the police, was beaten and thrown to the ground when she
attempted to save Dr. Barghouti from the assault.  He was then taken by
army vehicle to police station at Nevi Yacoub where he was held briefly
and released without explanation or being charged.

ADC President Dr. Ziad Asali spoke by telephone with both Dr. Barghouti,
who is recovering from the attack, and his attorney Jawad Boulos, was
present during the assault, and with Ms. Morgantine.  Dr. Asali said
"this attack is yet another example of the abusive behavior of the
Israeli occupation forces against innocent Palestinian civilians,
including human rights activists.  It reconfirms the extent to which
life for all Palestinians living under this oppressive military rule is
made into an endless ordeal.  This case underscores not only that the
occupation must end, but also the urgent need to provide immediate
international protection for the Palestinian people."

ADC has launched a formal complaint with the State Department urging the
Bush Administration to support plans to provide international protection
for the Palestinian people.  Two weeks ago, the United States vetoed a
UN Security Council resolution calling for the creation of an
international "monitoring mechanism" to hold both Israelis and
Palestinians accountable for their actions.  ADC cited today's attack on
Mustapha Barghouti as another incident demonstrating that not only
monitoring, but protection for Palestinians, is urgently required.
 
 

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American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
4201 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20008, U.S.A.
Tel: (202) 244-2990, Fax: (202) 244-3196
E-mail: adc@adc.org
Web   : http://www.adc.org