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SHEIKH ABDEL KARIM OBEID
(SHEIKH ABDULKAREEM OBAID)


WHERE IS MY FATHER?

Mujahidah Obaid

She was three months old when her father, Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid was abducted from their home in South Lebanon by Israeli commandos. Fourteen years later Mujahidah still waits, hoping that her father will come home...

 

On 28 July 1989, Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid was kidnapped from his house in the village of Jibchit in Southern Lebanon. At 2.00 am Israeli commandos staged a well-planned kidnapping performed by over 30 men which took no more than seven minutes. Sheikh Obeid’s wife, Umm Sajed was tied and beaten up whilst his son Sajed, aged seven was threatened with a gun. A neighbour, Hussain Abu Zaid was killed as Sheikh Obeid and two others, a cousin Ahmed Obeid and friend Ashem Fahs were taken away. Throughout the entire kidnapping, Israeli fighter planes carried out a mock air raid over the village to hide the sound of the helicopters used to take Sheikh Obeid to “Israel”.

Sheikh Obeid’s “crime” was being an outspoken opponent of Israel’s occupation of Southern Lebanon. He was a well-known preacher and represented the views of the Lebanese people.

Sheikh Obeid has been held captive by the Israeli Defence Force, without charge and denied access to friends, family, and lawyers since July 1989. He and Mustafa Dirani, a disabled Lebanese national from the Bekaa valley, who was kidnapped in 1994, are being held on the pretext of gaining more information about an Israeli airforce navigator, Ron Arad, who was shot down during a bombing raid over Lebanon in 1986.

Photos of Sheikh Obeid taken before his kidnapping (left) and after several years of captivity in Israeli Sarafan prison (right). Not only has he been tortured but remains in solitary confinement. For more information on the conditions detainees face in Israeli prisons please see the photo-account on Khiam Prison. A former detainee of Sarafan has described it as "worse than Khiam". Sheikh Obeid is not alone - there are nearly two thousand Muslim and other abductees held by Israel in the same manner.

The Campaign to Free Sheikh Obeid has been in existence for some seven years and is run by the Islamic Human Rights Commission. The Islamic Human Rights Commission Rights calls for the unconditional release of Sheikh Obeid and Mustafa Dirani. There should be an immediate end to their hostage-status and the trial of those persons responsible for the acts of hostage-taking.

 

* Alternate spellings for Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid: Shaikh 'Abd al-Karim 'Ubayd, Sheik Obeid, Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid, Sheikh Abdul Karim ‘Ubayd


 

 

Contents

Vigil to mark 14th anniversary of abduction of Sheikh Obeid - 28 July 2003
Lebanon's Forgotten Hostage - July 1997 article by Arzu Merali
Chronology of events
What you can do to help - Campaign Letters
Prisoner of Faith postcards
Further Information
Comments

 


 

Vigil to mark the 14th anniversary of the abduction of
Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid

London, 28 July 2003

The Islamic Human Rights Commission held a vigil outside the Israeli Embassy on Monday 28th July 2003 to mark the fourteenth anniversary of the kidnapping of Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid. from Lebanon, by Israeli commandos.

The vigil was held at the junction of Kensington High Street and Palace Green. The Israeli embassy is across the road at No 2 Palace Green, which was cordoned off by the police.

Leaflets asking people to telephone, fax, and email the Israeli embassy in London demanding the immediate release of Sheikh Obeid and Mustafa Dirani were handed out. The reverse side featured the Boycott Israel Campaign leaflet listing the companies and brands supporting Israel that should be boycotted.

The public were supportive of the vigil, often stopping to chat, to find out more and to show their solidarity.

One passer by asked "Which country is holding her father?" pointing to the photo of Mujahidah on the leaflet. "Israel is holding him - 14 years now without charge". With a look of disgust, she retorted "Israel! Why doesn't that surprise me! So whats new?". The PR manufactured myth of victim Israel shrouded in a halo of holocaust untouchability has long shattered and ordinary people in the west now readily equate zionism with nazism and apartheid - something which has no place in a civilised word.

Placard reads "Free Sheikh Obaid - Hostage for 14 years." For many in the west "hostages" means the western hostages - Terry Waite, John McCarthy, etc who have all been released long ago - they dont realise that it was Israel that started the cycle of hostage taking in the middle-east and it is Israel that till today still holds hostages. In 2002 it even passed a law to specifically allow it to hold hostages "legally"- under Israeli law!

Israel's crime in abducting a man from his family and caging him with out charge for 14 years in complete breach of international law mustn't be looked at as a solitary incident - Israel's whole history is one of arrogance and devoid of any morality. The crimes committed in Lebanon cannot be separated from the ongoing crimes being committed today in occupied Palestine.

 


Statement made by Massoud Shajareh, Chairman of IHRC, at the 14th Anniversary Vigil for Sheikh Obeid

Download (shift-click) statement (real audio 1:47min 223Kb)

 

 


 

This article was first published in 1997 - nearly 8 years after the kidnapping of Sheikh Obeid.

Lebanon's Forgotten Hostage


Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid (May 29 2000)

1 July 1997
by Arzu Merali
Director of Research
Islamic Human Rights Commission

 

Sajed is 15 years old. Like many boys, he wants to be like his father. An architect and Muslim cleric, Abdulkareem Obaid is also one of dozens of hostages abducted from South Lebanon by Israel. This month sees the eighth anniversary of his kidnap, by Israeli commandos from his home in the South Lebanese village of Jibchit, where he was the preacher.

Sitting in a modest, Beirut flat flooded with orange light from a setting spring sun, Sajed is explaining to a Belgian film crew, in fluent French, the events of the night of 28th July 1989, which took his father away from him and his four siblings. He has inherited his father's eloquence, which some of us vaguely remember from TV documentaries of the late 1980's about the nightmare that was Lebanon. Obaid was vocal in his opposition to the so-called Israeli security zone in the South of Lebanon which exists till today. By the time he was assaulted and removed to Israel, he had become a well-known and well-liked spokesperson for the Lebanese people. I remembered Obaid's audacious smile, as Sajed told of how he would one day follow in his father's footsteps.

It was just as Sajed had told reporters from the Washington Post eight years ago, how at 2 o'clock in the morning, his mother was beaten and tied up, and how he was threatened with a gun, as his father, and two others were dragged away semi-conscious. Umm Sajed, Obaid's wife, recounted to me in meticulous detail, how the Israeli operation was well-planned, and executed at a frightening speed. The commandos knew the house's layout - the operation could have been maybe no more than seven minutes. There were two entrances to the house, one for men and one for women. The Sheikh, as she respectfully refers to her husband, was asleep in the section that led from the women's entrance. Around thirty men entered the house while others surrounded it. When she heard firing, she thought they had killed her husband. In fact it was a neighbour, Hussain Abu Zaid, who had come out of his house to see what the noise was, that had been shot dead as the commandos retreated. Later, the Israelis in triumph at their capture, admitted to Western press that Israeli fighter planes had enacted a mock raid over the area, masking the sound of the helicopters that came for Obaid. Israeli press report the abduction in those terms.


Hassan Al-Mujtabah (centre right) was two years old and Mujahidah (centre left) just 3 months old when their father was kidnapped. In his absense, their brother Sajed (right) who is only 15 himself shoulders the role of father to them.

The guns of Lebanon's civil war have been quiet for several years, but with threats of being bombed not only in the south, but all the way to Beirut looming since last year's 'Operation Grapes of Wrath,' what everyone fears but no-one says outright is that Lebanon is simply sleeping between carnage. In the meantime, international shopping bonanzas and selective rebuilding programmes are putting Lebanon back on the map as a cultural magnet in the region. Old hostilities between communities seem miraculously buried, or at least well-policed by the Syrian troops stationed to keep the peace. Obaid's plight and that of other hostages and abductees from Lebanon remains largely forgotten or unheard of. Jill Morrell's campaign through The Friends of John Macarthy made sure that the British journalist's disappearance was commemorated every hundred days. In contrast the convergence of myself and the film crew on the Obaid's home was exceptional. Few outside Lebanon and Israel recall Sheikh Obaid. Today Lebanon, and particularly Beirut is booming economically and culturally: for the former, Obaid has become another icon of territorial violation in the South, to the Israelis he is a bargaining chip for information about their missing airforce navigator, Ron Arad, shot down over Lebanon in 1986. If you visit the Ron Arad homepage, you can listen to the song about him, or see a little movie about him, or sign a petition, or read many articles on the kidnap of Obaid.

I was reminded of Sheikh Obaid by a campaign started last year for his release. A letter from Umm Sajed asking the world to remember her husband had sparked a letter writing campaign, which led to brief but fruitful correspondence between the British Foreign Ministry and the Israeli Ministry of Justice. Armed with the confirmation that the IDF had jurisdiction over Obaid's detention, four British barristers from Justice International, went to Tel Aviv in January, to try and find him, and start proceedings for his release. I spoke to them before they left - they knew it would be a long process.

Despite increasingly vehement correspondence from the group's leader John Platts Mills QC with various ministries and departments, no official response could be gleaned and no conferences arranged. Dismayed at the callousness of a supposedly democratic government, they tried the Mandela Institute, a human rights research organisation, and traced the whereabouts of Obaid and another abductee Mustafa Dirani, to a High Security Detention Unit in Sarafan Military Compass. Again access was denied, but for the first time Obaid's whereabouts had become known.

Umm Sajed, is a French educated teacher. She doesn't teach now, but stays in her second floor flat, protecting her young family. She explained to me that their youngest daughter Mujahidah had been sleeping on their bed the night the commandos came. She was three months old and had been poorly. Released by neighbours from her bondage after the commandos had gone, Umm Sajed went to find her child. Eventually she was retrieved from under their overturned bed. In an Israeli TV interview, two years later, Obaid spoke of not knowing Mujahidah's fate.     


The only message Sheikh Obaid was allowed to send his family reads:

"I only miss seeing you and I am missing you all very much. I don't want to mention names because I don't know who is alive and who is dead. Hopefully I will see you soon."

 

In last year's Schmidbauer brokered negotiations over the fate of South Lebanon, the German Minister arranged for postcards to be delivered from Obaid and Dirani, to their families. Obaid's card reads, "I only miss seeing you and I am missing you all very much. I don't want to mention names because I don't know who is alive and who is dead. Hopefully I will see you soon."

Mujahidah poses for a picture for me - she looks like the father she doesn't remember. He was not incarcerated for criminal activity - something a seven year old might understand, but for his political conscience. It's hard not to share Mujahidah's confusion at the fate of her father. In a letter to Moshe Raviv the Israeli Ambassador, the former Chair of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group, Lord Avebury asks regarding Obaid and Dirani, whether as the Israeli Defence Minister says, they are to be held until information about Ron Arad is revealed, and "whether it is really true that [they] are detained as a means of bringing pressure to bear on whoever is holding Ron Arad?" Two previous letters about the imprisoned Israeli physicist Mordechai Vannunu remain unanswered.

Despite Beirut's bustling commercial centre, and even the jovial if shell-cratered streets of its Shia sectors, a sense of closure remains amiss several years down the road of peace in Lebanon. The bloody civil war may have ended, but an atmosphere of unease remains. Like the letters to Moshe Raviv, many issues need answers. Obaid was kidnapped during the civil war. Dirani however was taken from the Beka in May 1994: how can the post-war Lebanese government claim to be independent when its citizens are susceptible to abduction and disappearance at the hands of an aggressive neighbour? The notorious Khiam prison camp in the occupied south, contains Lebanese arbitrarily picked up by the South Lebanon Army, Israel's agent in the zone. Syrian troops are everywhere else, supervising a country - formerly a Syrian province - which they were removed from in 1920. The same 'international consensus' that removed them, put them back. What will happen if, as the Christian community wants, the Syrians go? Will there be an independent Lebanon if they stay?

Obaid's youngest son, Hassan Al-Mujtabah, was two when his father disappeared. A shadowy memory of the man's existence remains, but Sajed to all extents and purposes, is his father now. The hope remains with him however, that one day this chapter will also be closed, and Abdulkareem Obaid will come home. Until that day, Lebanon's unease remains, and it continues to be a hostage to its own existence.


Arzu Merali
Islamic Human Rights Commission

 

 


CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS


Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid in his home village of Jibchit

 

1989

28 July - Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid was kidnapped by Israeli commandos from his house in the village of Jibchit in Southern Lebanon.

1993

25 July - Israeli attack on Lebanon, in particular Sheikh Obeid's village.

An Israeli Defence Force spokesman: "70% of the village of Jibchit is totally destroyed . . . because of its importance to the Shi'ite population of southern Lebanon."

Jibchit was the home of Sheikh Obeid.

A veteran British correspondent: Obeid's "home received a direct hit from a missile, although the Israelis were presumably gunning for his wife and 3 children- after all, they kidnapped the Sheik in 1989 and still held him in the Ashkalon prison in Israel."

"The general aim is to wipe the villages from the face of the earth and sow destruction around them."

1994

21 May - Mustafa Dirani was kidnapped from his home in the Bekaa valley in Lebanon (on Eid Al-Adha).

At 2.30 am he awoke to find Israeli soldiers in his room; his wife was handcuffed and taken into another room and his six year old daughter was threatened to be killed as soldiers asked her, “where is Ron Arad” an Israeli air force navigator whose plane was shot down as he was bombing Palestinian positions east of Sidon in October 1986.

Musafa Dirani was recovering from brain surgery when kidnapped. He was taken to an unknown location in Israel. He had been accused by the Israeli state of being involved in the capturing of Ron Arad, so was kidnapped to be used as a bargaining tool for the Israelis to regain Ron Arad. Three days later, Mustafa Dirani’s deputy denied allegations that he had sold Ron Arad to Iranians and had no knowledge of the missing pilot. In Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stated that they had demanded their representatives be allowed to visit Dirani as his seizure had been a “clear breach of article 34 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids the taking of hostages.”

1996

Campaign to free Sheikh Obeid and Mustafa Dirani launched.

1997

January - A team of international lawyers visited Tel Aviv and confirmed the location of Sheikh Obeid and Mustafa Dirani as being in Sarafan Military Compass, a high security detention centre near Tel Aviv. This was the first time since both Sheikh Obeid and Mustafa Dirani were kidnapped that their whereabouts had been determined. However the lawyers were prevented by the Israeli authorities from seeing their clients.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) instructed Britain’s Ambassador in Tel
Aviv to “raise the plight of Sheikh Obeid with the Israelis” following the work of campaigners in sending letters to MPs, international organisations etc. Upon writing three times to the Ministry of Justice in Tel Aviv the FCO received one answer stating that the matter had been “referred to the Israeli Defence Force (IDF), which has jurisdiction over the detention of Sheikh Obeid”.

1998

March - Amnesty International slams Israel over authorizing hostage taking.

Amnesty slams Israel court hostage ruling

Beirut, Lebanon (Reuters)
March 9 1998

Amnesty International has condemned an Israeli Supreme Court ruling authorizing Israel to hold 10 Lebanese detainees as bargaining cards, saying it "explicitly legitimizes hostage taking."

"This decision is intolerable," the London-based international human rights group said in a March 6 statement faxed to Reuters in Beirut Monday.

Israel's Supreme Court said in a document made public on March 4 that foreign nationals could be detained as "bargaining cards" in negotiations over missing servicemen. The ruling represented a rare public admission that Israel was holding without trial members of the pro-Iranian Hizbollah (Party of God) which is fighting to oust Israeli troops from an occupation zone in south Lebanon.

The court which acknowledged that the practice infringed human rights said Israel's "vital interests" took precedence. "Those held as hostages include people who were only 16 when they were taken from their village and have now spent up to 11 years in detention, often secret and incommunicado.

"These are real people, not objects to be used as political pawns," Amnesty International said.

In the Supreme Court records, detainees were referred to as a "bargaining card ... captured to achieve a goal and not himself the target."

"The Israeli government has acknowledged that the detainees themselves pose no threat to state security. Their continued detention therefore has no basis in international law," Amnesty said.

The detainees held without trial include Hizbollah cleric Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid, abducted from his home in 1989 in a predawn raid by airborne Israeli commandos, and Islamist faction leader Mustapha Dirani, snatched from his home by Israeli troops in 1994.

"In violation of the Geneva Conventions, ratified by Israel, two of the detainees, Mustapah al-Dirani and Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid have never had access to the International Committee of the Red Cross," Amnesty added.

Amnesty said 11 other Lebanese were held as hostages by the Israeli authorities. At least 150 other Lebanese nationals are held in Khiam detention center run by Israel's proxy militia inside Israel's south Lebanon occupation zone.

"The organization is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Lebanese hostages held in Israel," Amnesty added.

2000

March - Mustafa Dirani’s Israeli lawyer Zvi Rish issued a report stating that he had been severely tortured. This was the first time his family had heard about his condition for six years. The Israelis denied his family access to see him nor was unable to receive letters from them. The International Committee of the Red Cross was also denied visitation rights.

April - Mustafa Dirani had filed a lawsuit against his captors accusing guards of severe torture and rape. He had now spent seven years in solitary confinement in Sarafand prison.


Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid and Mustafa Dirani
at the Tel Aviv District Court on May 29 2000

June - Israeli forces which had illegally occupied Southern Lebanon since 1982 were finally forced to leave, liberated by members of Hizbollah. Resistance fighters who had fought against the occupation were released from the notorious Khiam detention centre, where many detainees had been severely tortured and beaten by guards.

July - The Tel Aviv District Court Judge ruled that Israel was entitled to hold Sheikh Obeid and Mustafa Dirani for at least another three months as they remained a threat to “Israeli National Security”, even though Southern Lebanon had now been liberated. Previous requests from a UN envoy to Israel to release them had been ignored.

2001

August - The Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) could have access to Sheikh Obeid and Mustafa Dirani who have now been held without trial for 12 and 7 years respectively in Israel. However due to petitions from families of Israeli soldiers missing in Lebanon the visits were prevented.

November - The General-Director of ICRC met the families of both Sheikh Obeid and Mustafa Dirani. He described how the Israelis had prevented him from visiting both the detainees or even allowing him to gain information about both their physical situation. Since his abduction 12 years ago Sheikh Obeid’s family have only received three messages from him.

To date, both Sheikh Obeid and Mustafa Dirani have been held in Israel without charge. They have not been granted “prisoner of war” status and are two of 20 Lebanese and 1600 Palestinian held captives. Both their health has continued to deteriorate in the subhuman conditions they are kept in. The Israeli authorities openly admit to using hostages as bargaining chips with the Palestinian and Lebanese authorities.

2002

4 March - The Israeli Knesset passed a law entitled “Imprisonment of Combatants Who are Not Entitled to Prisoner-of-War Status,” popularly dubbed the ‘Obeid-Dirani Law’. The purpose of the law was to allow Israel to continue to hold Sheikh Obeid and Mustafa Dirani as hostages. The passing of this draconian and regressive legislation allowing government-sanctioned hostage taking elicited a great deal of international condemnation

April - A ruling by the High Court of Israel declared that Lebanese nationals can not be held as hostages in return for missing Israeli soldiers. Subsequently, thirteen Lebanese prisoners were released, with the exception of Obeid and Dirani. This is important. The Israeli Supreme court has made the admission that Obeid and Dirani are being held as “bargaining chips” and hence as hostages. This constitutes a gross violation of international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory.

Through its actions and the ‘Obeid-Dirani law’, Israel has deliberately and brazenly chosen to openly flaunt and deny its legal obligations. The justification has always been the resort to the concept of Israel’s self-interest. Article 34 of the Fourth Geneva Convention specifically prohibits hostage taking Furthermore, concern has been voiced over the secretive and extended detention endured by Obeid and Dirani, especially in relation to the enforced psychological isolation they have endured, which may constitute torture. This would amount to both a serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and a war crime. This further suppresses Obeid and Dirani’s rights under the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT), both of which prohibit prolonged detention and solitary confinement.

2003

28 July - 14th Anniversary of kidnapping of Sheikh Obeid, vigils and demonstrations were held around the world including London and Lebanon. Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah addressed the rally in Lebanon:

Hizbullah Gives Israel Last Chance To Release Prisoners

The head of Lebanon's resistance movement Hizbullah warned Sunday, July 27, that the movement would capture more Israeli soldiers unless Lebanese prisoners held in Israel were released.

"We are going to give a last chance for negotiations to exchange prisoners between us and Israel. (But) If this chance is not taken, we will consider the number of Israeli prisoners we hold is not enough and work night and day to increase the number," Agence France-Presse (AFP) quoted Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah as telling a rally in the southern village of Jibchit, marking the 14th anniversary of the abduction of Sheikh Abdel-Karim Obeid from his village by zionist commandos.

The Hizbullah leader, while calling for Germany to resume a mediation mission on the prisoners issue, said he could "not give any assurance on the fate of colonel Tenenbaum," one of the four Israelis captured by Hizbullah, who was seized in Beirut. Colonel Tenenbaum is thought to be a Mossad operative.

"As the media have reported, Tenenbaum has a serious illness. We have treated him, but today I can not say whether he is dead or alive."

Hizbullah has been holding four Israelis since October 2000, three of them soldiers captured in the Shebaa Farms border area of Lebanon which is still illegally occupied by Israel. Israel is holding about 20 Lebanese, including Hizbullah chiefs Mustafa Dirani and Sheikh Abdel Karim Obeid.

Hizbullah, backed by the Lebanese government, calls for the release of all 20 Lebanese detainees in zionist jails. The zionists admit holding only 15 Lebanese detainees.

Nasrallah accused Israel of dragging its feet on the prisoner issue.

"They (Israelis) did not exert any real effort to know the fate of their soldiers - which was possible - and all what the enemy's officials told the families of the Zionist prisoners is lies," he said. "They did not exert any effort and they did not make any offer."

Nasrallah said Hizbullah was not ready "to negotiate for four or five years."

"We are giving this (negotiations for a prisoner swap) a new chance and I don't think anyone in this world can be clearer," he said.

The resistance movement began demanding the release of Palestinians too after the capture of the three zionist soldiers in October 2000. In April 2002, Hizbullah offered to free Tenenbaum in exchange for the lives of Palestinians abducted in the West Bank city of Jenin.

 

 


WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:
Campaign Letters

In order to put pressure on the Israeli government to release Sheikh Obeid and Mustafa Dirani we need to raise the awareness of their cases and pressure our own governments and other relevant bodies to demand from the Israelis the immediate and unconditional release of all Prisoners of Faith. Below are provided sample letters. Please make copies and get your family, friends and community to send them.

 

UN High Commissioner on Human Rights

Email: webadmin.hchr@unog.ch

Your name
Your address

Date

Mr Sergio Vieira de Mello,
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights
OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

Dear Sir,

I am writing with deep concern over the continued detention of Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani, two Lebanese nationals who have been detained now for 14 and 9 years respectively, after being abducted from their homes by Israeli forces.

I have been extremely disturbed at reports that indicate both Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani have been tortured. Mustafa Dirani’s Israeli lawyer has filed a lawsuit against the Israeli authorities for damages arising from the torture and sexual abuse by the Israeli military. The conditions of their detention constitute violations of several UN conventions, such as the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Convention Against Torture, to which Israel is a signatory.

They are being held without charge with the Israeli authorities publicly admitting to holding them as bargaining chips. This is a fact admitted to by the Israeli Supreme Court.

I urge you to intervene in this matter and insist on the immediate release of Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani. I further ask you to insist that the Israeli government adheres to international human rights standards and norms with regards to these and other prisoners.

I look forward to hearing from you soon as to what steps have been taken to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani.

Yours sincerely

Your sign

Your name.

 

Foreign Secretary (UK)

Fax number: 01254 682213

Your name
Your address

Date

Mr Jack Straw MP,
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Dear Sir,

I am writing with deep concern over the continued detention of Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani, two Lebanese nationals who have been detained now for 14 and 9 years respectively, after being abducted from their homes by Israeli forces.

I have been extremely disturbed at reports that indicate both Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani have been tortured. Mustafa Dirani’s Israeli lawyer has filed a lawsuit against the Israeli authorities for damages arising from the torture and sexual abuse by the Israeli military. The conditions of their detention constitute violations of several UN conventions, such as the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Convention Against Torture, to which Israel is a signatory.

They are being held without charge with the Israeli authorities publicly admitting to holding them as bargaining chips. This is a fact admitted to by the Israeli Supreme Court.

I urge you to raise the continued detention of Sheikh Obaid and Mustafa Dirani with the Israeli government. Britain claims to be an upholder of justice and human rights; therefore to substantiate its claims it should request the immediate release of the above mentioned prisoners. Furthermore the British government should insist the Israeli government brings its human rights practices particularly those relating to detention, in line with international human rights laws.

I look forward to hearing from you soon as to what steps have been taken to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani.

Yours sincerely

Your sign

Your name.

 

Member of Parliament (UK)

Fax Number for your MP: see www.faxyourmp.com

Your name
Your address

Date

Your Member of Parliament

Member of Parliament
House of Commons
London
SW1 0AA

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing with deep concern over the continued detention of Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani, two Lebanese nationals who have been detained now for 14 and 9 years respectively, after being abducted from their homes by Israeli forces.

I have been extremely disturbed at reports that indicate both Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani have been tortured. Mustafa Dirani’s Israeli lawyer has filed a lawsuit against the Israeli authorities for damages arising from the torture and sexual abuse by the Israeli military. The conditions of their detention constitute violations of several UN conventions, such as the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Convention Against Torture, to which Israel is a signatory.

They are being held without charge with the Israeli authorities publicly admitting to holding them as bargaining chips. This is a fact admitted to by the Israeli Supreme Court.

I trust you will raise the issue of Sheikh Obaid and Mustafa Dirani’s continued imprisonment with the Foreign Secretary, in order for him to further raise the issue with his Israeli counterpart. The British government should insist the Israeli government brings its human rights practices particularly those relating to detention, in line with international human rights laws and insist upon the immediate release of these prisoners.

I look forward to hearing from you soon as to what steps have been taken to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani.

Yours sincerely

Your sign

Your name.


Minister (for any country)

Your name
Your address

Date

Minister of your country

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Sheikh Obaid, Mustafa Dirani and other Prisoners of Faith

I write to express my concern at the continued imprisonment of Sheikh Obaid, Mustafa Dirani and other hostages without charge in Israel.

As your office is aware, Sheikh Obaid especially has been in detention for 14 years now. I am asking you to intercede on the behalf of Sheikh Obaid, Mustafa Dirani and other Prisoners of Faith held by the Israelis and demanding their immediate and unconditional release.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly,

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,

Your sign.

Your name.

 

US Ambassador (UK)

Your name
Your address

Date

Ambassador William S Farish
American Embassy
24 Grosvenor Square
London
W1A 1AE

Dear Sir,

I am writing with deep concern over the continued detention of Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani, two Lebanese nationals who have been detained now for 14 and 9 years respectively, after being abducted from their homes by Israeli forces.

I have been extremely disturbed at reports that indicate both Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani have been tortured. Mustafa Dirani’s Israeli lawyer has filed a lawsuit against the Israeli authorities for damages arising from the torture and sexual abuse by the Israeli military. The conditions of their detention constitute violations of several UN conventions, such as the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Convention Against Torture, to which Israel is a signatory.

They are being held without charge with the Israeli authorities publicly admitting to holding them as bargaining chips. This is a fact admitted to by the Israeli Supreme Court.

I am writing to you since your government has a tremendous influence over the Israeli government. On that basis, I urge you to intervene in this matter and insist on the immediate release of Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani. I further ask you to insist that the Israeli government adheres to international human rights standards and norms with regards to these and other prisoners.

I look forward to hearing from you soon as to what steps have been taken to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid and Mustafa Dirani.

Yours sincerely

Your sign

Your name.

 


Prisoner of Faith Postcards

As part of their Prisoners of Faith Campaign the Islamic Human Rights Commission have made available postcards featuring different prisoners of faith. If you would like Sheikh Obeid prisoner of faith postcards to send, please contact IHRC on info@ihrc.org.



Further Information

The Islamic Human Rights Commission has prepared a detailed Prisoners of Faith campaign pack on Sheikh Obeid and Mustafa Dirani. Its in PDF format and is available for download here. The main IHRC website is at:
http://www.ihrc.org

 

Sajed, the eldest son of Sheikh Obeid, has a website with information on his father. The website is in arabic, follow the link below to visit it:
http://www.geocities.com/sajedz/sheikh_obeid.htm

A nice sound-bite from one of Sheikh Obeid's sermons followed by a resistance chorus sourced from Sajeds website is provided here in real audio format (dur. 48 sec, 127Kb)

 

The "Islamic Resistance Support Association" website is a treasure trove of information on all aspects of the zionist occupation and the Islamic resistance to it, including the hostages. the website (english and Arabic) is at:
http://www.moqawama.tv

 

KHIAM PRISON - Israels Torture Den, a photo-article detailing life under Israeli detention:
http://www.inminds.co.uk/khiam-prison.html

 

"Follow-Up Committee for the Support of the Lebanese Detainees in the Israeli Prisons", has an informative website in English at:
http://www.followupcsld-ip.org.lb

 

"National Association for Lebanese Detainees" has a website in both Arabic and English at:
http://www.naldip.org.lb

 


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