[Boycott - Other News]
Alert: 18th Nov 2016 - Free Fayez Sharary - Solidarity with Standing Rock
15 November 2016
DATE: Fri 18th Nov 2016 3:30pm-5:30pm
LOCATION: G4S HQ, Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QT (closest tube: Victoria)
FACEOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1809082459335825/
On Friday 18th November 2016 Inminds human rights group will protest outside the headquarters of the British security company G4S to demand the release of British national, father of five, Fayez Sharary who was abducted by Israel on 15th September 2016 before being tortured for 3 weeks by the Israeli secret police Shin Bet. Fayez is caged at Israel's G4S secured Ofer prison in the West Bank. A letter from Fayez’s wife Laila Sharary will be read out at the protest.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "We are shocked that a British citizen has been kidnapped and tortured by Israel with the assistance of a British company G4S, and shamefully the British government is silent about it and is doing nothing to secure his release. In an unprecedented move even the Israeli judge admitted Fayez has been tortured and his forced confession, after three weeks of torture, is worthless and inadmissible, and that Fayez should be released. The Israeli military of course overturned the judge’s ruling and Fayez is left rotting in an Israeli hell hole secured by G4S. We demand that the British government put pressure on the Israeli regime to immediately and unconditionally release Fayez Sharary so he can be reunited with his family. And we demand G4S end its criminal complicity in Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people."
Inminds will also stand in solidarity with the indigenous people of Standing Rock - the Sioux whose water supply and sacred sites are threatened by the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline that has been rerouted to go through their land.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "Thugs from the same British company G4S that secure Israel's torture dens and dungeons are also employed by the oil pipeline company as mercenaries to crush the popular resistance against the raping of indigenous Sioux land, the desecration of their sacred sites, and the poisoning of their water supply. We stand united with the Sioux of Standing Rock against the ethnic cleansing and colonisation of indigenous peoples and their lands whether it be in Palestine or in Standing Rock."
Please join us on 18th November outside the headquarters of G4S on Victoria Street at 3:30pm.
BACKGROUND - FAYEZ SHARARY
Father of five children, Fayez Sharary is a British citizen from the Palestinian diaspora who has lived in the UK for over 23 years.
In September 2016 he travelled to the West Bank with his wife Laila and their youngest daughter Aya, just 3 years old, to visit their families and spend the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha with Laila's mother who had recently been widowed. Fayez yearned for the opportunity to offer the Eid prayers at the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
After the holiday Fayez Sharary and his family were returning home when on 15th September 2016, they were stopped by Israeli forces at the Allenby Bridge border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan. They were meant to fly back to the UK from Jordan on 17th September.
The family were taken at gunpoint from Allenby Bridge and made to walk 5-10 minutes to an interrogation building. Israeli forces interrogated Fayez for 5 hours with his wife and daughter kept just outside the interrogation room in the corridor. No food or water was provided to the family for the 5 hours. When 3 years old Aya needed to use the toilet they refused her at first, and then said they will allow her if her mother Laila first submits to a strip search. After the degrading strip search they still refused Aya the use of a toilet. Instead they brought a plastic tray which is used for passing luggage through the x-ray machine, and told her to do it in there.
After the five hours they took Laila's mobile phone and said she and her daughter could go but that they will be detaining Fayez. When she insisted that she will not go without her husband the soldiers got very abusive with her, screaming at her.
Fayez was taken to Petah Tikva Interrogation Centre in Israel and tortured for 3 weeks until he broke. He was denied a lawyer for these 3 weeks until he signed their forced confession on 6th October. Soon after that he was moved to Ofer prison in the West Bank where he is still caged today.
Fayez managed to get a message out to his wife via another prisoner. Laila finally managed to speak to her husband on the phone for the first time on 17th October, over a month after he was taken.
Prisoners are shackled for long periods in painful stress positions
On 26th October Fayez appeared in military court. In a highly unusual move, for the very first time an Israeli judge, Judge Lt.-Col. Azriel Levi, ordered the release of Fayed Sharary, saying that "There's no doubt that the defendant's confession, which was given an hour after the end of his Shin Bet interrogation, was dramatically influenced by the method of interrogation, which also included pained and prolonged shackling, threats, and a blatant exploitation of the defendant's demonstrated weakness." Keeping prisoners shackled in back breaking stress positions for hours on end is standard practice in Shin Bet interrogations. He pointed out that "Shin Bet’s own record of the interrogations included multiple statements by Sharary that he was downcast and ready to admit to whatever they asked him to admit to". In light of the torture, Judge Azrieli said his confession was “not given voluntarily” and its “value was zero.” The Judge added that several of the crimes attributed to Sharary did not even fit the definitions of crimes under the IDF’s West Bank laws.
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel responded to the story noting “using torture happens and is not exceptional in interrogations.." It stated that over a 1000 complaints of torture have been submitted but not a single complaint has led to a criminal investigation, let alone a trial or a conviction. Israeli law has never criminalized torture and whilst Israel is a signatory to the UN Conventions Against Torture it insists that it doesn't apply to Palestinians. United Nations funded Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture for Occupied Palestinian Territory, in 2014, treated 845 Palestinian victims of torture including 317 women and 135 children.
Despite the judge’s ruling Fayez Sharary was never released and a few days later at a hearing on 6th November the military overturned the judge’s decision to release Fayez Sharary on bail.
Fayez Sharary and his family are all British citizens, yet the British embassy has done nothing to secure his release. Admission on record by an Israeli judge that a British national has been tortured in Israel should have raised alarm bells in the foreign office. Yet no action has followed. Not even one representative of the British embassy has attended any of the hearings. Without their presence the judge’s ruling to release Fayez Sharary was overturned with impunity.
Fayez Sharary's next military court hearing is on 14th December 2016.
Also Of Interest
Page URL: http://www.inminds.co.uk/article.php?id=10732