Following protests across the globe, Israel releases BDS activist Mahmoud Nawajaa

Following his release after 17 days in prison, Mahmoud Nawajaa called for the intensification of BDS campaigns “to bring to an end this system of apartheid and oppression and free all 4,700 Palestinian prisoners”

August 17, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Mahmoud Nawajaa was detained on July 30.

Following a massive international campaign, an Israeli military court released Palestinian human rights activist and BDS general coordinator, Mahmoud Nawajaa, without any charges. The BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) movement, in a statement, said that Nawajaa was on his way back to the occupied West Bank. He was detained on July 30.

Upon his release, Mahmoud Nawajaa thanked activists and human rights organizations worldwide who worked towards applying sustained pressure on the state of Israel to secure his release. He called for the intensification of “our BDS campaigns to bring to an end this system of apartheid and oppression and free all 4,700 Palestinian prisoners. With our global networks of mutual solidarity with movements for Indigenous, racial, social, gender and climate justice, we can and we shall achieve freedom, justice and equality for our people and for all oppressed communities.”

Nawajaa was detained by more than 20 Israeli security personnel. His wife said that the soldiers, accompanied with dogs, illegally raided their home and violently detained Nawajaa in front of their three children before abducting him. At the time of his illegal arrest, the Israeli domestic intelligence agency, Shin Bet, did not disclose the charges against him, stating that he had been detained over “unspecified security offenses.”

In the weeks leading up to his release on Monday, the Palestinian BDS National Committee organized two rallies in Ramallah and Gaza in front of the diplomatic missions of Germany, to demand his immediate and unconditional release. Germany is the current president of the European Union (EU) council. More than 150 representatives of various Palestinian mass organizations, political parties, trade unions and other civil society groups had participated in these demonstrations, demanding that the EU council put pressure on Israel for the release of Mahmoud Nawajaa. Various international human rights organizations, political parties, trade unions,  such as Amnesty International, BDS Colombia, BDS India, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and CODEPINK had also issued statement condemning Nawajaa’s illegal and arbitrary arrest, urging Israel to release him immediately, along with all the other Palestinian political detainees still being held in Israeli detention. An international online campaign under the banner, #FreeMahmoud, was also organized.