Responding to the ruling today by an Israeli court that 16 year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, charged with aggravated assault of soldiers and incitement, will remain in custody until the end of her trial, Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International said:
“There is nothing that can justify Ahed Tamimi’s continued detention. The video of the incident clearly showed that she posed little threat to the soldier she slapped, as he stood in front of her fully armed. Her continued detention is outrageously excessive for such a comparatively small crime and entirely inappropriate for a child. We call on Israeli authorities to release her immediately.
“Ahed Tamimi’s ongoing detention and trial in a military court is an example of the institutional discrimination typical of the treatment of Palestinian children who participate in activism against the Israeli occupation and shows how Israel is violating its international human rights obligations towards children.
“It would be a major injustice if a prison sentence were imposed on Ahed Tamimi as punishment for her activism against the well documented oppressive conditions of occupation.”
According to Ahed’s lawyer, she has faced long and aggressive interrogation sessions, sometimes during the night, and her interrogators have made threats against her family members. According to her family, Ahed has also endured several physically exhausting transfers from prison to court alongside other child detainees, without access to a toilet.
Ahed Tamimi was arrested on 19 December 2016 after her mother, Nariman Tamimi, also a prominent activist, posted the footage of the altercation online. Nariman Tamimi was arrested later that day, while her cousin, Nour Tamimi, was arrested the following morning. Ahed confronted the soldiers amid a demonstration in Nabi Saleh against US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The incident took place on the same day that Ahed’s cousin, 15-year-old Mohammad Tamimi, was hit in the head at close range by a rubber bullet fired by an Israeli soldier and sustained serious injuries.