Well-Known Palestinian Activist Detained in Jordan
By Karin Friedemann, TMO
|Amer Jubran speaking at the October 25, 2003 demonstration in San Francisco, California protesting the occupations of Palestine and Iraq.|
In the dead of night, on May 5, 2014, Amer Jubran was arrested by the Mukhabarat, the secret intelligence agency of the Jordanian government. He has not been charged with any crime.
â€œHe has not been allowed any contact with a lawyer and no one knows where he is being held. This arrest is the result of intelligence cooperation between Jordan, the United States, and Israel in their attempt to silence dissent and eliminate political support for resistance to the American-Zionist project in the region,â€ reports the New England Committee to Defend Palestine (NECDP), an organization Jubran founded.
Because of his past work with NECDP, ANSWER, and other political activist groups, Jubran has many friends and supporters in the US who sent out the alert via social media.
â€œWe knew Amer when he was here too, and were fond of him– a very intelligent, dedicated and kind young man– Hope you will share this with all your lists and do what you can to help him. This is terrible news!â€ says activist Amy Hendrickson of Boston Anti-Zionist Action (BAZA).
Jubranâ€™s family has already suffered greatly at the hands of the Zionists. Amerâ€™s grandfather was shot by an Israeli soldier and left to bleed to death in the middle of a road. His family was forced to leave the area of al-Khalil in Palestine before he was born. They went into exile in Jordan.
His detainment in Jordan is not the first time Jubran has been persecuted for his relentless activism on behalf of the Palestinian people. The principles he fought to establish are:
â€¢ A single democratic Palestine in all of historic Palestine
â€¢ The right of the Palestinian people to resist colonization and reclaim their land
â€¢ An end to all US aid to Israel: military, economic, and political.
â€œIn 2001 he was arrested for protesting an â€œIsrael Dayâ€ celebration in a wealthy suburb of Boston. A long court struggle followed, and he was found not guilty,â€ writes Richard Hugus of NECDP.
â€œHe was arrested again in 2002 during the Ashcroft-inspired attack on all Arabs and Muslims in the US, which Ashcroft waged through immigration authorities. This arrest followed two days after a march for Palestinian rights in the streets of downtown Boston which Amer helped to organize, and which had wide support. But one person whispered, and the deed was done. Another long court struggle followed.â€
The anti-Islamic hate group, â€œJihad Watchâ€ led by the notorious bigot Robert Spencer posed a ridiculous alert claiming that Jubran was â€œon a jihad mission in Boston.â€
Understanding that although all his free speech and political organizing activities were totally legal, he would never get a fair trial with Homeland Security, FBI and INS agents trying to intimidate his witness pool, Jubran told the judge, â€œIf there is no justice for me here in the United States, I will take voluntary departure.â€ The popular community organizer left the US for Jordan in 2004.
In an article on Amerâ€™s trial written for the New York Sun, columnist Josh Gerstein quotes a Boston pro-Israel activist responding to the news of Amerâ€™s departure with the words, â€œIâ€™m excited to hear that heâ€™s not going to be around any more.â€
Mourning the loss of this important community member, the Amer Jubran Defense Committee stated that â€œthe clarity of Amerâ€™s voice was crucial for helping to establish an important political current in the struggle for justice in Palestine.â€
Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show a pattern of intrusive police surveillance and coordinated activity between local and federal police agencies, including a police video of the 2001 demonstration in Brookline, Massachusetts, with close-up â€œmugâ€ shots focusing on Palestinians in the rally; and still photographs of Jubran, his friends, witnesses and supporters taken inside the courtroom during his Brookline trial, that were sent to the Boston Police.
â€œIn Jordan Amer began working at his familyâ€™s business and started a family, but continued to raise the cause of Palestine. In 2006 he was beaten and arrested at a protest at the Zionist embassy in Amman. In 2010 he gave a lecture at the American University in Beirut and was under noticeable surveillance both leaving and returning to Amman,â€ writes Hugus.
It is impossible to see Jubranâ€™s most recent arrest as anything other than an attempt to silence him. Freedom of speech is an internationally recognized human right. With enough public mobilization to pressure the Jordanian government, it is hoped the young man who has done so much for others, will be swiftly released from his secret detention.
â€œFlood Jordan with your calls and emails! Amer is a STELLAR human being; we got to know and love him here in MA – before he was set-up by zionists and forced out of this country… What USrael and Jordan have done is an absolute abomination,â€ writes PF Soto, an activist in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Please urgently contact the Jordanian Ministry of Interior, Fax number (from the United States): 011-962-6560-6908 and the Jordanian Embassy in Washington DC, Telephone number: (202) 966 – 2664 / Fax number: (202) 966 – 3110. Talking points:
â€¢ Mr. Jubran is a well-known Palestinian activist and voice of dissent.
â€¢ Mr. Jubran was detained on May 5 and has not been charged with any crime.
â€¢ He was not allowed to contact a lawyer and no one knows where he is being held.
â€¢ Demand that his rights be respected and that he be released immediately.