pr 08-06-04

4 November 2009

Adalah: The Attorney General’s Decision to Indict MK Muhammed Barakeh Seeks only to Criminalize his Political Action

On 1 November 2009, Adalah received a letter from the Attorney General (AG) of Israel, Menachem Mazuz, informing of his intention to indict MK Muhammed Barakeh, the Head of the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (“al-Jabha” or “Hadash”). The charge sheet includes four items:

1. Assaulting a border police officer during a demonstration against the Wall in the village of Bil'in on 28 April 2005.
2. Insulting a public servant during a demonstration against the war on Lebanon in Tel Aviv on 5 August 2006.
3. Attacking a right-wing activist during a demonstration against the war on Lebanon in Tel Aviv on 22 July 2006.
4. Obstructing the police during a demonstration against a meeting of the Labor Party in Nazareth on 7 July 2007.

Adalah emphasizes that the indictment is based on false evidence that has been completely refuted and rejected by MK Barakeh. Adalah is in possession of evidence which proves that during the demonstration against the Wall on 28 April 2005, the police and undercover police forces attacked the anti-Wall demonstrators, including MK Muhammed Barakeh, using tear gas and sound bombs. Following the demonstration, Adalah filed a complaint on behalf of MK Barakeh to the Ministry of Justice Police Investigation Unit (Mahash), but Mahash did not investigate the complaint. See:

MK Barakeh together with Jewish and Arab activists who participated in the demonstration against the War on Lebanon on 22 July 2006, vehemently argue that it was the far-right activists who attacked and assaulted the demonstrators, including MK Barakeh; they deny the claim of police that MK Barakeh attacked anyone. The AG did not investigate this incident as well.

The indictment is not based on any evidence that would convict MK Barakeh; it simply criminalizes MK Barakeh’s legitimate political activities against the Wall and the War on Lebanon and attempts to harm the reputation and status of an Arab leader.

The failure of Mahash and the AG to investigate the complaints by MK Barakeh and prosecute those responsible in both incidents, and the AG’s decision to indict MK Barakeh indicates bad intentions and motivations in filing the indictment.





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