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American Peace Activist "not aid to terror", but...

Secret Evidence Does Not Incriminate American Peace Activist, Detained 26 Days, As Aid to Terror

Judge Oded Mudrik Still Questions Right to Protest

18 July 2004
Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv District Court Judge Oded Mudrik, in a hearing today regarding American peace activist Ann Petter who has been detained for 26 days in Ben Gurion Airport, said that the secret evidence shown to him behind closed doors by the General Security Service, does not incriminate Petter as an aid to terror or terrorist organizations.

However, Mudrik asserted that protest by foreigners against Israeli military activities such as house demolitions - deemed human rights violations by international law - can justify denial of entry and deportation of foreigners. “Judge Mudrik’s outrageous statement shows the judge’s bias and intolerance of monitoring of human rights abuses and legitimate non-violent protest,” stated defense attorneys Shamai Leibovitz and Yael Berda. Petter was also represented by attorney Leah Tzemel.

The State denied Petter entry into Israel based on her previous participation in activities organized by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and the State’s belief that Petter intended to participate in ISM activities this summer. The State referred to the ISM as a subversive organization. The ISM is a Palestinian-led movement working for an end to the Israeli occupation through non-violent activities.

In her opening statement, Attorney Tzemel stated that the accusations against the ISM and Petter are outdated in light of the recent Israeli Supreme Court ruling. The Supreme Court ruled that the route of the Separation Fence, with its confiscation of land and uprooting of trees, is
illegal. In this way, the Supreme Court became a partner to the ISM, said Tzemel. Referring to demonstrations in which volunteers of the ISM took part, Attorney Tzemel stated that, “Indeed, there were a series of activities that ‘obstructed’ IDF soldiers from carrying out activities
that they were forbidden from carrying out,” activities now forbidden also by the Supreme Court.

The Judge will deliver his decision on Petter’s case on Tuesday, July 20, 2004, at 4 PM at the Tel Aviv District Court.

Attorneys: Shamai Leibovitz at +972 64 414505 and Yael Berda +972 50 874 3083
Contacts: Nirit at +972 54 792 3082 or Ady at +972 54 643 1972