H.E.RIYAD H.MANSOUR, Ambassador, Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine
H.E. RON PROSOR, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations
I appeal to your respective governments, the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Israel, for the immediate and unconditional release of Nabil Al- Raee and Zakaria Zubeidi of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin.
Zakaria Zubeidi, co-founder and avid supporter of The Freedom Theatre, was arrested by Palestinian security forces on the 13th of May and taken to Jericho prison. Since then Zakaria has not been allowed to meet his lawyer Farid Hawash or have any contact with his family. On 13 June, his detention was extended, without any given reason, with another 15 days.
According to his lawyer, Zakaria’s arrest has not followed due process since he should have been brought before a Jenin court and not taken away to Jericho. His right to communicate with his family after a maximum of 10 days has also been violated, as has his right to consult with a lawyer. After having travelled to Jericho Mr. Hawash was only able to see Zakaria for a minute to say hello.
“I am unable to determine if Zakaria has been treated correctly since I haven’t been able to talk with him,” says Mr. Hawash. “We have to apply the correct procedure of Palestinian law; as his lawyer I must be allowed to meet with my client.”
Nabil Al-Raee, Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre, was abducted by the Israeli army in the early hours of June 6th. Nabil is presently being held in the Jalameh detention centre in Israel. Nabil has not been allowed to meet or talk with his lawyer, or to communicate with his family. The interrogations at Jalameh and other military detention centres commonly involve inhumane treatment such as sleep deprivation, psychological pressure and binding in painful positions.
The Freedom Theatre has on numerous occasions expressed its full cooperation in the investigation of the murder of the theatre’s co-founder and former General Director Juliano Mer Khamis. Its members have proved this willingness to cooperate by meeting every requested appointment and answering all questions to the best of their knowledge, no matter how intimidating and insulting the interrogation methods.
This last abduction of Nabil Al-Raee suggests that the regular and systematised harassment of the employees of The Freedom Theatre has nothing to do with the investigation of Juliano’s murder. It is clearly a campaign directed at the Freedom Theatre itself.
Please release Nabil Al- Raee and Zakaria Zubeidi immediately and end the harassment of the Freedom Theatre.