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Anderson condemns sentencing of Palestinian woman Khalida Jarrar

8 December, 2015 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has condemned the sentencing to 15 months imprisonment of Khalida Jarrar, a Palestinian leftist and feminist parliamentarian and advocate for political prisoners.

Ms Anderson said,

"Arrested by occupation military forces who invaded her Ramallah home on 2 April, the imprisonment of Jarrar has justly sparked widespread Palestinian, Arab and international outrage.

"An international outcry followed her arrest and she was then charged in Israeli military courts. While the military courts present an appearance of a “trial,” these trials are in reality no more just or fair than arbitrary administrative detention. 99.74% of Palestinians who come before them are convicted.

"I met Khalida on a number of occasions, through her role as a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council for the Abu Ali Mustafa bloc and in my capacity as the chair of the Delegation of Relations with Palestine. The last time I met her was along with 12 other GUE/NGL MEPs, including Matt Carthy and Lynn Boylan, when we visited Palestine in September 2014.

MEP for the six counties, Ms Anderson continues,

"It was due to her political activity, such as giving speeches, attending public forums, and calling for the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners that she received 12 of her charges. Despite this, the witnesses brought forward by the occupation military all indicated that they were threatened and tortured into giving statements against Jarrar.

"Despite the obviously political nature of the charges against Jarrar, an internationally-recognized parliamentarian and political leader, she was convicted by the Israeli military courts and sentenced to fifteen months in Israeli occupation prisons.

“The conviction of Khalida Jarrar comes as no surprise; Israeli military courts serve no function except as an instrument of repression and suppression directed against Palestinians.

"The duty is now on us to campaign for freedom for Khalida and for the almost 7,000 other Palestinian political prisoners inside Israeli jails." ENDS

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