ARBITRARY ARRESTS IRAQ BURIN

Photo taken by an international observer

Arrest of Adham Qadou, Iraq Burin resident

Iraq Burin (Nablus Governate), 24 July 2010 – Two residents of Iraq Burin were arrested this morning at a flying checkpoint set up outside the village.

At 8am this morning, Adham and Nasser Qadous, in their early twenties, were traveling to work in Nablus when they were detained and interrogated on the main road from the village. Soldiers questioned the pair for almost two hours, accusing them of throwing stones during previous demonstrations.

A witness said the soldiers identified the two young men from a photo booklet containing images of previous demonstrations.

However, the witness said the images revealed only blurred faces covered with scarves, making it virtually impossible to establish the identity of the people in the picture. The witness further stated the interrogations were in Hebrew which the young men could not speak, by up to five soldiers confronting each detained person at a time.

At one point, soldiers attempted to handcuff Adham, but stopped when a foreign observer who had been denied access to the village, began filming the arrest.

After continued interrogation and the arrival of a second military jeep, the boys were handcuffed, blindfolded and taken away in a jeep to an unknown location.

Israeli forces have erected the check points every Saturday for the past six weeks, which locals say is an attempt to filter human rights observers and international presence from attending the village’s weekly demonstrations.

Earlier this year, Israeli soldiers shot and killed two residents of Iraq Burin, which human rights investigators condemned as the willful killing of civilians, accusing the army of war crimes.

In recent months, residents of the town have reported escalating cases of physical assault, intimidation and threats, as well as arbitrary arrests, with young men being the main targets. Witnesses have reported cases in which young men of the village are fingerprinted during home raids.

Residents and human rights groups are now concerned the flying checkpoint will be used to restrict freedom of movement by imposing a fear for arrests, harassment and violence in the village.

Since the summer of 2009, residents of Iraq Burin have demonstrated against land confiscation by the nearby illegal Bracha settlement, settler violence, Israel army violence and harassment (both during night raids and in the village’s lands and at flying checkpoints), and the restriction of the freedom of movement.

See also the Investigative Summary Report of the UNESCO Chair on Human Rights and Democracy (An-Najah University),  “http://www.najah.edu/uchrd” www.najah.edu/uchrd

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