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The Only Democracy? » Human Rights Activists in the Crosshairs » Freedom Theatre attacked yet again

Freedom Theatre attacked yet again

Missed this item last week because of earthquake/hurricane, but the Freedom Theatre was attacked again on August 22nd:

Rami Hwayel on stage, "waiting for Godot or a Shin Bet decision" photo: Emily Smith


Freedom Theatre targeted again

After the Israeli army targeted the theatre twice during the last month, arresting three of its members, today at approximately 02:00 in the morning of the 22nd August the Israeli army again surrounded The Freedom Theatre and the Nagnaghiya family home.

Jacob Gough, the Acting General Manager at The Freedom Theatre left the office at about 01:45: “As I literally entered my home I got a call from neighbours of the theatre saying the army had surrounded the theatre.”

Jacob then returned to the theatre and as he drove into the courtyard was confronted by armed soldiers who forced him to turn around threatening violence if he didn’t. After a second attempt to get closer to the theatre he was forced to strip at gunpoint before being detained, he was told “To shut up or you will get a proper beating” by one soldier.

During this, the army were inside the home of Mohammed Naghnaghiye, the security guard at the theatre and brother of Adnan Nagnaghiya. Here they beat Mohammed before taking him away in handcuffs then proceeded to ransack all 3 floors of his family home leaving them in disarray.  As the army left the area they fired live ammunition in an attempt to disperse the crowds of youth that had gathered and were throwing rocks.

These events come after a military court hearing that took place yesterday (21st August) in Jalame prison outside of Jenin. At the court hearing it was established that the three previously taken members of The Freedom Theatre had no connection to the murder of the theatre’s late director Juliano Mer Khamis and must be released within the week.

“This behaviour is mounting to systematical harassment of The Freedom Theatre by The Israeli army, it is scandalous. This proves that the Israeli army and security apparatus is either lost in their investigation or that they have the actual intention of damaging the theatre. It also seems that after the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis The Freedom Theatre is no longer exempted from the kind of oppression the palestinian society is subjected to in general.” says Jonatan Stanczak, co-founder of The Freedom Theatre.

For more information on latest developments, click here.

You can support the Freedom Theatre in an emergency campaign here

Written by

JESSE BACON (Philadelphia) is a freelance activist and father. He has a Masters in teaching from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He is an observant progressive Jew, and is trying to be a good ally for Palestinians and all dispossessed peoples, while staying true to the best traditions in Judaism. He visited Israel and Palestine in 1996, 2001, and 2002. He served for three years on the local steering committee of Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, and one year on the board of Pursue the Peace in Seattle. Read his posts here.

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