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The Only Democracy? » Human Rights Activists in the Crosshairs » Updated: Israeli Army ambushes Freedom Theater

Updated: Israeli Army ambushes Freedom Theater

Soldiers have stormed the Freedom Theatre of Jenin, whose co-founder Juliano Mer-Khamis was slain earlier this year.
UPDATE: Per Jonatan Stanczak: latest is that the lawyers have been barred from visiting or speaking with Adnan or Bilal and that they have been taken to two different prisons in Israel. No additional info from the army on why.
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From The Freedom Theater Foundation, Jenin, Palestine

04.46 (gmt+2), July 27, 2011

Special Forces of the Israeli Army attacked the Freedom Theater in Jenin Refugee Camp at approximately 03:30 this morning.  Ahmad Nasser Matahen, a night guard and technician student at the theater work up by heavy blocks of stone hurled at the entrance of the theater.  As he opened the door he found masked and heavily armed Israeli Special Forces around the theater.

Ahmed says that the army threw heavy blocks of stone at the theater, “they told me to open the door to the theater.  They told me to raise my hands and forced me to take my pants down.  I thought my time had come, that they would kill me.  My brother that was with me was handcuffed.”

The location manager of The Freedom Theater, Adnan Naghnaghiye, was arrested and taken away to an unknown location together with Bilal Saadi a member of the board of The Freedom Theater.  When the general manager of the theater Jacob Gough from the UK and the co-founder of the theater Jonatan Stanczak from Sweden arrived to the scene they were forced to squat next to a family with four small children surrounded by about 50 heavily armed Israeli soldiers.

Jonatan says: Whenever we tried to tell them that they are attacking a cultural venue and arresting members of the theater we were told to shut up and they threatened to kick us, I tried to contact the civil administration of the army to clarify the matter but the person in charge hung up on me.”

For more information please contact: jacobllyr AT

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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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