pr 08-06-04

2  January 2009

Adalah to AG: Summoning Political Activists to GSS Investigation is an Attempt to Frighten Them from Participating in Demonstrations of Solidarity with Gaza

On 31 December 2008, Adalah sent an urgent letter to the Attorney General (AG) demanding that he order the General Security Services (GSS or the "Shabak") to cease the summoning of Arab leaders of political parties and movements to meetings with them. In recent days, dozens of activists and leaders have received telephone calls from GSS officers demanding their presence at a meeting with the Shabak. The GSS officers tried to mislead the activists by telling them that they are obliged by law to attend, although the law does not compel any person to meet with the Shabak. During these meetings, the GSS investigators threatened the leaders of the political parties and movements that they will be held criminally accountable for any violation of the law by any individual who is a member of their party or movement. The GSS investigators asked the leaders to convey these instructions to the party activists and ordered them to prevent the activists from committing any breach of public order.

Adalah Attorney Orna Kohn argued in the letter that the Shabak threats are illegal and infringe on the right of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel to organize, demonstrate and express their opinion. The threats also contradict principles of criminal law, which consider criminal responsibility to be individual responsibility. Attorney Kohn further argued that these threats are an attempt to intimidate the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel from participating in legal, political activities aimed at solidarity with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. She also
emphasized that this action is yet another attempt by the GSS to interfere in the political activities carried out by Arab political bodies and movements in Israel.

The Letter





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