“What solidarity means”: a letter from Gilboa Prison

Ameer Makhoul (Adri Nieuwhof)

Ameer wrote the following letter from Israeli detention on 30 May 2010:

After being allowed to get a pen and a piece of paper, which has been banned for the last three weeks, and after being allowed to get out of my total isolation, it’s a moment to write a short letter from my jail (Gilboa).

It’s a great opportunity for me to express my sincere thanks, greetings and appreciation to all the colleagues, friends and solidarity groups, organizations and persons, internationals, Arabs in the region, Israelis and Palestinians in the homeland and in the Diaspora. A very special salute to all those who visited my family and supported them after the trauma they passed on 6 May and since that late night.

It’s a moment to express my great appreciation to all the international and local human rights organizations which raised their voices loudly. Also to Ittijah’s partner organizations all around the world which supported my/our struggle for justice and for a fair trial in order to get to prove my innocence.

Physically I am still suffering very much but morally it’s a great feeling to know what solidarity means.

My story is that the Israeli intelligence, the Shabak, assumed something without knowing and without any evidence. I was requested and forced to explain to them in a very detailed way how exactly I did what I didn’t do, ever. In case of any logical problem for them to complete the puzzle, they have the legal tools to fill it in by so-called secret evidence, which my lawyers and I have no legal right to know about.

According to the media in Israel, I’m already guilty, a terrorist and a supporter of terror. The rule of the game here is that I’m guilty whether or not I prove that I’m not. This collective assumption is prior to court and trial procedures. The abuse of evidence and fair legal procedures are crucial. The Shabak can tell lies to the court by so-called secret evidence, banning meetings with lawyers, banning the publication of information, imposing total isolation and other very sophisticated ways of torture, which leave no direct evidence although it is very harsh (see Adalah www.adalah.org). I believe that my case is an opportunity to examine these tools as tools for the criminalization of human rights defenders.

I would like to highlight again your support and solidarity. I look to it as a very essential and crucial message of support for the victim and to stop the oppressor. Thank you. Let us continue with the way for justice, human dignity, human rights and ensuring an opportunity for a fair trial.

Sincerely,

Ameer Makhoul

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