02.01.2002

PHYSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS-ISRAEL

URGENT APPEAL

DR. MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI, president of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief
Committees (UPMRC), was arrested just before noon upon his exit from a press
conference at the Americal Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem, and is now being
held 'for questioning' by Israeli security authorities at the 'Russian
Compound' holding facility in West Jerusalem.

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti is the president of the Union of Palestinian Medical
Relief Committees (UPMRC), a community-based Palestinian health organization
founded in 1979. He is a long-standing partner of Physicians for Human
Rights-Israel in the struggle for human rights in the Occupied Territories.

Dr. Barghouti is a dedicated and courageous activist for health and human
rights of the Palestinian population. As a doctor, he has devoted his life to
the struggle for justice, peace and human rights.

He has taken an active part in the struggle for autonomy of medical
professionals and for free passage of patients, doctors and medical goods at
all times. At the press conference this morning, he described the disastrous
effects of current Israeli policies on the health of the Palestinian
population.

His arrest, allegedly due to 'illegal presence' in East Jerusalem, is in
blatant opposition to the basic tenets of human rights, and is evidently
intended to prevent dissemination of information regarding violations of
human rights. It is also aimed to deny free access of Palestinians to East
Jerusalem, which has always been the cultural and spiritual center of
Palestinian life, as well as home to the central medical institutions serving
the West Bank.

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel strongly condemns the unlawful arrest of
Dr. Barghouti, and calls for his immediate release.

We call on Israelis, Palestinians, and the global community to rise up and
protest against the erosion of medical autonomy and freedom by Israeli
authorities in Israel and the Occupied Territories, and against the denial of
the freedom of expression.

Write protest letters to: Uzi Landau, Minister for Internal Security: 972 2
5308151; Head of Israeli Police, Shlomo Aharonishki: 972 2 5308118; Binyamin
Ben Eliezer, Defense Minister: 972 3 6976218, Nissim Dahan, Health Minister,
972 2 6787662.

Details: Hadas Ziv, Miri Weingarten

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel is a non-partisan, non-profit organization
founded in 1988, comprising some 500 members who combat Israeli health and
human rights violations, and strive to ensure equal and adequate health
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Tel: 972 3 6873718
Fax: 972 3 6873029
e-mail: <mailto:phr@netvision.net.ilphr@netvision.net.il