Arab Today, arab today palestinian activist convicted on stoning charge
Last Updated : GMT 15:11:16
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Palestinian activist convicted on stoning charge

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Palestinian activist convicted on stoning charge

Jerusalem - AFP

A court on Sunday convicted Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi of sending people to throw stones and protesting without a permit, but cleared him on two other charges. \"I decided to convict you of two charges against you: the charge of sending people to throw stones, and holding a demonstration without a permit,\" Judge Eti Ador said at a hearing in Ofer military court near Ramallah. \"I am clearing you of incitement and perverting the course of justice,\" said the judge, who holds the rank of major. Tamimi was charged with soliciting stone-throwing based on evidence that he actively directed such incidents from the roof-tops, she said. The sentencing process would begin on May 25, the judge said, ordering him to remain on bail until then. Tamimi was arrested on March 24, 2011 and accused of organising illegal demonstrations in connection with a series of weekly demonstrations in Nabi Saleh village in protest at Jewish settlers taking over their land. He was released on bail on April 24 this year after his elderly mother suffered a stroke, although he was kept under house arrest in Ramallah. Tamimi\'s arrest sparked international condemnation with the European Union recognising him as a human rights defender, and Amnesty International declaring him a prisoner of conscience. Speaking to AFP on Sunday morning ahead of the court hearing, Tamimi said he did not expect to receive justice. \"No matter what the decision will be, it carries no justice and strengthens my resolve in the belief that the court is one of the institutions and foundations of the occupation,\" he said in Arabic, speaking through a translator. \"The laws come from an occupying regime whose legitimacy I do not recognise. I don\'t think even for a single minute that there is going to be justice done.\" The weekly demonstrations in Nabi Saleh began at the end of 2009, following a years-long legal battle with residents of the nearby settlement of Halamish who in 2001 seized around 240 acres (100 hectares) of the villagers\' land. One Friday in late 2009, the villagers began walking with the farmers towards their land to help them cultivate it but were prevented from getting there by settlers and the army. It soon became a Friday tradition, with the villagers routinely trying to reach the land and finding themselves blocked by the army, which says such demonstrations are illegal. Almost all demonstrations in the Palestinian territories are defined as \"illegal\" under Israeli military law, which states that any gathering of 10 or more people requires a permit. According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) the ban on demonstrations and the forced dispersal of peaceful protests represent \"a clear violation of the rules of international law that are incumbent on the occupying power.\"

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