Palestinian astrophysicist arrested and jailed for second time in 15 months

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

The news from al Araby:

A renowned Palestinian professor and astrophysicist, Imad al-Barghouti, was arrested by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank on Sunday evening.

The 53-year-old professor of space physics at al-Quds University in East Jerusalem was arrested at an Israeli military checkpoint, near the village of Nabi Saleh in the central occupied West Bank.

He had been returning home to a nearby village.

Barghouthi was previously arrested in 2014 while passing though the Israeli-controlled border with Jordan on his way to a conference in the United Arab Emirates.

The leading scientist was interrogated about material he had posted on Facebook. Protests from scientists worldwide led to his release from prison a month later.

Barghouti is a leading researcher, publishing frequently in academic astrophysics journals, and has previously worked for NASA.

Imad Barghouti, from Facebook
Imad Barghouti, from Facebook

From Barghouti’s last arrest and release a year ago, he posted a letter thanking AURDIP, the French association of academics in support of Palestinians’ rights, for pressuring for his release after a month and a half in jail:

I was arrested on December 6, 2014, at the Karama border crossing, as I was travelling to Jordan on my way to the United Arab Emirates to attend a conference organized by the Arab Association of Astronomy and Space Sciences of which I am a founding member. The Israeli military order to detain me extended until March 5, 2015 and would have likely been renewed had such international pressure by people of conscience not been exerted on the Israeli government. Now that I have been released, I am still subject to detention at any moment without charge or trial because of my political views and political affiliations.

Many other Palestinians have not been as lucky as I am. According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, the wave of mass arrests conducted by Israeli military courts against Palestinians in the first two weeks of December of last year included 54 Palestinians besides myself. Another Palestinian academic, Dr. Ghassan Thuqan of the Faculty of Education at An-Najah University, is languishing in ill health at the Naqab (Negev) desert prison without charge or trial since July 9th…

These waves of mass arrests and detention without charge or trial continue to be a means that the Israeli authorities use in order to repress freedom of expression by criminalizing it through Israeli Military Order 101, used by the IDF to restrict Palestinians’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Well, if there’s a military order, all these arrests must be OK, nu? Or am I missing something (or are they)?

It’s a good thing he didn’t throw lecture notes or a textbook – or, gawd forbid, lecture notes and a textbook! – at anyone or he might have been executed on the spot.

Israel says it is intended on defeating BDS . They sure go a strange way about it.This will simply ensure that any international academics straddling the fence on BDS will come down on the Palestinian side .

Israel has a propensity for shooting itself in the foot.No wonder they no longer have a leg to stand on.

> amigo

Israel has a propensity for shooting itself in the foot

has an even greater propensity for shooting Palestinians

in the head, in the chest, in the gut …

Adults, children, the elderly.

Murdering and maiming
over and over and over.

I was hoping that Donald Trump wouldn’t have “drank the Kool-Aid” with respect to the U.S. corrupted political stance that the Palestinians are the aggressors and Israel can do-no-wrong, but with his foreign policy speech yesterday it seems clear that he no longer is interested in maintaining a just and balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It further signals to me that a portion of the money that he is going have to raise to… Read more »