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!!!New Action 8 Jan. ’10: Join Amnesty’s call on Israel to release Mohammad, Jamal and Abdallah! CLICK HERE

Open Letter to President Obama

October 9, 2009

Dear President Obama:

Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that “change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom.” President Obama, you promised us change and we believed in that promise. Now is your opportunity to show us you meant it.

We have frequently heard the question over the years, “Where is the Palestinian Gandhi? Where are those working for justice through non-violence?” We must look no further than the jails and cemeteries to find Palestinian peace activists leading the fight against injustice. This is where we will find Mohammad Othman: locked in solitary confinement in a military prison, and held for nearly a month after his arrest without charge or trial. His initial detention has been extended twice thus far, and there remains the possibility of it being renewed indefinitely.

On September 22nd, 33-year-old Mohammad was arrested by Israeli soldiers while trying to reenter the West Bank after spending several days at a conference in Norway. For more than 10 years Mohammad has been an activist for Palestinian human rights. During that time, he has been a leader in the Palestinian grassroots movement against the Wall that has swallowed up his community’s lands and livelihoods.

Mohammad, in the spirit of great human rights defenders like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., has worked tirelessly over the years to bring his people’s voice to the world. He has embraced and advocated non violent means to effect change – a tactic that was instrumental in bringing about the end of apartheid in South Africa. Freedom from occupation, oppression and discrimination are human rights to which all people are entitled. Mohammad, and many others like him, have done nothing more than work to secure these most basic guarantees – to give his people a chance to live.

Unfortunately, what is happening to Mohammad is all too common. Palestinians working for justice are constantly threatened with arbitrary detention, bodily injury and torture, and even death. Imagine having to fear speaking the truth, knowing that by doing so you put your very freedom at stake, simply because you stand up for what is right and what is just. History has shown us that peaceful activists are often the target of such policies, if only because they pose the most severe threat to the status quo. It happened in South Africa, it happened in India, and it happened in the United States as well.

Mohammad is another casualty of this tactic. It is up to us, the international community, to defend him and all those who struggle for peace and justice. President Obama, if you are serious about forging peace, then we call on you to defend the right of Mohammad and all Palestinians to resist their oppression through non-violent activism. We implore you to pressure Israel for the immediate release of human rights advocate Mohammad Othman and all prisoners of conscience who are being held solely for their work towards justice and freedom.

Signed,

Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics, MIT

George Bisharat, professor of law, University of California Hastings College of the Law

David Lloyd, Professor, University of Southern California

Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies, Columbia University

Huwaida Arraf, Lawyer and Founder of International Solidarity Movement

Jewish Voices for Peace

Birthright Unplugged

Sight the Petition:

http://www.petitiononline.com/STW2/petition.html

————————————————————————————————————————

Dear all:

Here are some recommended actions:

•Follow the blog and Facebook page to free Mohammad Othman to see the latest updates and action alerts.

• Sign the online petition for Mohammad.

•Sign and send a message to President Obama through Jewish Voice for Peace. JVP has launched an online campaign to pressure President Obama to pressure Israel to free Mohammad.

• Encourage others to join this campaign through petitions, demonstrations and/or letter writing/phone calling. Please provide them with contact information and details;

• Urge your representatives at consular offices in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem/Ramallah to demand the immediate release of Mohammad Othman. (Click here for your consular contacts). Sample letters in English and French are below.

• Let the Israeli Embassy in your country know that you are campaigning for Mohammad’s release and for a just and lasting peace based on international law. (Click here to find the Israeli Embassy in your country)

•Bring the case of Mohammad to the attention of local and national media outlets;

For more information contact: freemohammad@stopthewall.org

Sample letter to embassies and foreign ministries in English:

Dear x,

I am writing to you to express my deepest concern about the detainment of Mohammad Othman on, September 22, at the border between Jordan and the West Bank. He was returning home from a human rights education tour in Norway.

I fear that the detainment of Mohammad Othman is a result of his peaceful criticism of violations of international law by Israeli authorities. The charges against him have not been made clear, but there is reason to believe that he is a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for his human rights work through legal organizations.

I ask you to take all appropriate measures, including official inquiries and protests, to ensure Mohammad’s immediate and unconditional release. Furthermore, whilst being held, he should be protected from any form of torture or ill-treatment, and the conditions of his detention should fulfill the requirements of international law.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this urgent matter.

Sincerely,

——————————————————-

Sample letter in French:

Madame, Monsieur le (consul, ambassadeur de France à Tel aviv, Jérusalem)

Je vous écrits pour vous exprimer ma plus grande préoccupation concernant la détention de Mohammad Othman depuis le 22 Septembre survenu à la frontière entre la Jordanie et la Cisjordanie.

Il rentrait d’un séjour de sensibilisation aux droits de l’homme en Norvège.

Je crains que la détention de Mohammad Othman soit le résultat de sa critique pacifique de la violation des lois internationales par les autorités israéliennes.
Les charges retenues contre lui ne sont pas clairement établies, mais il y a raison de croire qu’il est un prisonnier de conscience, arrêté seulement pour son travail sur les droits de l’homme dans des organisations légales.

Je vous demande de prendre toutes les mesures appropriées, y compris des requêtes et protestations officielles afin d’assurer la relaxe inconditionnelle et immédiate de Mohammad Othman.

En outre, durant sa détention, il doit être protégé de toute forme de torture ou de mauvais traitement conformément aux lois internationales.

merci de votre prompte attention concernant cette affaire urgente.

veuillez agréer Madame, Monsieur le consul/ambassadeur mes sincères salutations.

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37 Responses to Take Action

  1. Johnny Jones, Jr. says:

    It is time for us (world citizens do the right thing! Help our brothers and sisters!!

  2. PAZ ES FUERZA

    CLARIDAD DE CONCIENCIA PERMANENTE

  3. Charles Doussin says:

    I bet “their” days are numbered!!!

  4. Nina Merson says:

    I am Jewish and have always treasured the humanity of my people. We must (as our culture used to be known for) protect every human life; Palestinian, Israeli, Muslim, African, European, American. Please release Mohammad Othman. He has been working to protect human rights. He is doing the most important work in the world.

  5. regina cummings says:

    the email address for Israeli consul’s secretary in New York City is: adia@newyork.mfa.gov.il. I just wrote to her on behalf of my husband and I. Let us pour emails to the consul to show them that we stand by Mohammad in NYC!

  6. Phil says:

    Why is it that Israel feels it must crush all descent against it’s actions against the Palestinians? All they are doing is showing the world that they have a very guilty conscience. This man has committed no crime and must be released immediately.

  7. julia Huizenga says:

    Hopefully Mohammad Othman will be a free man soon again, and hopefully nothing will happen to him while he is detained. The sad truth is that brave people too often have to pay for the cowardliness and indifference of other people. Let all who care for a better world support his courage and beg of his detainers to respect the human rights.

  8. Eric Chipman says:

    It is indeed a sad time in a person’s life when s/he is imprisoned for no apparent reason. one can only assume that this may be an act of revenge but I am not fully awae of the situation at hand. My only hope is that this matter be setled in a fair-minded and cool-headed way and peace returns. SHALOM!

  9. Elaine Donovan says:

    I ask the Israeli government to release Mohammad Othman. We are watching and demanding fair treatment for all political prisoners. We hold the Israeli government responsible for Mohammad Othman’s safety.

  10. LIH YOUNG says:

    PROMOTE HUMANITY, JUSTICE, PEACE.

  11. virginia walker says:

    I am awaiting fair treatment of prisoners of conscience – those who fight for human rights The Israeli Goenrment should free all politcal prisoners who have not been given a fair trial and I hold the Government guilty of treating Mohammad Othman unfairly.

  12. I expect the release Mohammad for he just wants human beings to be treated with the respect that each, as a child of God and child of Abraham deserves. says:

    I fully exprct the release of Mohammad, who, as a human being, wants other children of Abraham to have th respect that he and they ddesere and are asking for.

  13. Diane Shaughnessy says:

    Being held without benefit of trial — simply for exerting their rights is wrong and Mohammad needs to be released

  14. doris says:

    leave him free

  15. I wrote this message (e-mail) to the Brazilian Ambassador at
    Tel Aviv

    ===================
    Senhor Embaixador

    Venho pedir-lhe, em meu nome, mas também no nome do movimento Jews for Peace do qual faço parte, e que já deve ter entrado em contacto consigo, que faça o que estiver ao seu alcance pela liberdade do activista pela paz Mohammad Othman que neste momento
    foi encarcerado pelas autoridades de Israel.

    Sei que esta não é uma atividade fim da Embaixada, mas todos nós que lutamos pela paz
    no mundo, e tem sido esta uma diretiva do governo Brasileiro, temos que sair do habitual
    no sentido de construir um mundo justo em que a paz seja um momento durável.

    Jews for Peace é um movimento de judeus aberto à participação de não judeus, como é o
    meu caso, e que tem por objetivo encontrar uma saída duradoura para a convivência entre judeus e mulmusumanos – religiosos ou não.

    Por favor, aja.

    Atenciosamente,

    Tarcisio

    Professor Tarcisio Praciano-Pereira
    ===========================

    Tarcisio

  16. Esther Mohler Ho says:

    I call upon Israel to immediately release Mohammad Otham. If it hopes to survive, Israel must begin to obey international law.

  17. Derek Hughes says:

    Once again the facist Israeli authorities flaunt International law and deprive another human of their human rights. Israel is not a democracy. Modern democratic states do not behaved in such a manner. How can a state who’s forefathers endured such de, spicable horrors at the hands of the Nazi’s, become what they so often condemn? Fascists? In the name of all that is decent and humane, I urge the Israeli government to renounce all prejudices against the Palestinians and truly become a representative democracy. Free Mohammad and all others like him now

  18. ahmad harhash says:

    I ask the Israeli government to release Mohammad Othman. embassy@amman.mfa.gov.il this is the email addres of the israeli embassy in jordan

  19. Juan Serraller Ibañez says:

    Tenga en cuenta los aspectos humanitarios que son siempre lo más importante y que seguro que alguna vez Vd los necesitara.

  20. Charlotte says:

    Hi,

    I made a Dutch translation of the embassy/foreign ministry letter in case anyone needs it:

    Geachte x,

    Ik schrijf u om mijn ernstige zorg uit te spreken over de in hechtenis name van Mohammad Othman op 22 september, op de grensovergang tussen Jordanie en de Westelijke Jordaanoever. Hij was onderweg naar huis na een bezoek aan Noorwegen.

    Ik vrees dat de detentie van Mohammad Othman het resultaat is van zijn vreedzame kritiek op schendingen van het internationaal recht door de Israelische authoriteiten. Het is niet duidelijk wat de aanklacht tegen hem is, maar er is reden om te denken dat hij een gewetensgevangene is, die alleen om zijn mensenrechtenwerk via legale organisaties is vastgezet. Ik dring daarom bij u aan op de onmiddellijke en onvoorwaardelijke vrijlating van Mohammad Othman.

    Ondertussen vraag ik dat Mohammad beschermd wordt tegen enigerlei vorm van marteling of mishandeling, en dat zijn rechten als gedetineerde volledig gerespecteerd worden zo lang hij in hechtenis blijft.

    Hartelijk dank voor uw spoedige aandacht voor deze zaak.

  21. Guy says:

    AQUI ESTA LA PETICION TRADUCIDA AL IDIOMA ESPANOL:
    HERE’S THE SPANISH TRANSLATION OF THIS LETTER:

    Estimado _____,
    Escribo a usted para expresar mi más profunda preocupación por la detención de Mohammed Othman el 22 de septiembre, en la frontera entre Jordania y Trans-Jordania. Él regresaba a casa de una gira de educación en derechos humanos en Noruega.
    Me temo que la detención de Mohammad Othman es el resultado de su crítica pacífica contra las violaciones del las leyes internacionales por las autoridades israelíes. Los cargos contra él no han quedado claros, pero hay razón para creer que él es un preso de conciencia, detenido únicamente por su trabajo en derechos humanos a través de organizaciones legales.
    Le pido que tome todas las medidas apropiadas, incluyendo investigaciones Y protestas oficiales, para garantizar la liberación inmediata e incondicional de Mahomamad. Además, mientras se encarcela, debe ser protegido de cualquier forma de tortura o malos tratos, y las condiciones de su detención deben cumplir con los requisitos de las leyes internacionales.
    Gracias por su pronta atención a este asunto urgente.
    Atentamente,

  22. Rizek Abusharr says:

    You have made me an honorary member of your kitchen cabinet and thus you need to listen to the voice which says Free Mohammad Othman.

  23. roser sala.serra says:

    Me sumo plenamente al contenido de esta carta y deseo que surta efecto positivo.

    Afectuosamente,

    Roser Sala-Serra

  24. Leave Him Free NOW!!!!

  25. […] >> If you have not already done so, click here to find ways to take action in support of Moha… […]

  26. Bill Ward says:

    As an ardent supporter of yours, I feel it is time to provide some balance so that Palestinians and Israelis fighting for Palestinian justice are free to do so.

  27. peter lojewski says:

    Itis a serious human rights violation, the so called free democracys should not tolerate this injustice.

  28. Rajasekhar V Das says:

    Kerala my land has been home for many jews from earlier periods and i have grown up hearing about the traumas faced by Jews and their migration to other lands however when i grew up i understood that our king had given them rights to live in our country because its duty of a country to stand for the rights of the oppressed..and many members of the community is going back to Israel which is surely a sad parting between the local and the Jew community because we all have become part of of one brotherhood and we do think they have their rights in our land..And only such thoughts will liberate both Palestine and Israel and the tool is Non violence..The non violence Mahatma Gandhi showed us…Its not a Individual its a movement its a culture..And if we can bring that culture Both Palestine and Israel will be liberated.

  29. Jean-Jacques DUNKI says:

    Quel courage surhumain, Mohammed Othman, je suis profondément ému, et je veux redoubler d’effort pour défendre sa cause.

  30. Clemens Koerdt says:

    Here an example letter in German, which I sent to the German Ambassador in Israel:

    **************

    Sehr geehrter Botschafter der Bunderepublik Deutschland Dr. Dr. h.c. Harald Kindermann,

    grosse Sorge mache ich mir hinsichtlich der Verhaftung und der Haftbedingungen von Mohammad Othman.
    Er wurde auf dem Rueckweg von seiner Mission in Norwegen, wo er auf die Meschenrechtsverletzungen in den besetzten Gebieten aufmerksam gemacht hat, an der Grenze von Jordanien und dem Westjordanland am 22. September von israelischen Behoerden in Haft genommen.

    Ich fuerchte, dass die Haft von Mohammad Othman das Resultat seines friedlichen Protests hinsichtlich der fortwaehrenden Verletzung internationalen Rechts durch israelische Behoerden ist.
    Mohammad Othman ist nicht oeffentlich angeklagt worden und der Zugang zu seinem Anwalt wurde ihm mittlerweile untersagt.
    Desweiteren wird er nunmehr incommunicado untergebracht und es steht zu befuerchten, dass ihm nunmehr auch international anerkannte minimale Haftbedingungen verweigert werden.

    Ich moechte Sie deshalb bitten alle geeigneten Massnahmen zu unternehmen, insbesondere offizielle Nachfragen und Proteste bei den israelischen Behoerden, um eine sofortige und bedingungslose Freilassung dieses politischen Haeftlings zu erreichen.

    Vielen Dank im Voraus fuer Ihre Aufmerksamkeit hinsichtlich dieser dringlichen Angelenheit.
    Mit freundlichen Gruessen,

    ********

  31. Nadia Basto says:

    Release Mohammad Othman !!!

    You are going to help PEACE .
    I am from Brazil , but looking forward the end of this conflict .

  32. […] Mohammad has now been held in jail for over 2 months. “On September 22nd, 33-year-old Mohammad was arrested by Israeli soldiers while trying to reenter the West Bank after spending several days at a conference in Norway. For more than 10 years Mohammad has been an activist for Palestinian human rights. During that time, he has been a leader in the Palestinian grassroots movement against the Wall that has swallowed up his community’s lands and livelihoods.“ – Free Mohammad Othman Blog […]

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