ADC Calls on US Government to Protect Americans Held by Israel
Washington, DC — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) today called upon the Bush Administration to ensure that a number of Americans being held by Israel are given their due process rights and are not subjected to mistreatment. ADC is specifically concerned about the fate of California physician Dr. Riad Abdelkarim and Trevor Baumgartner of Seattle and three of his colleagues who volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement.
Dr. Abdelkarim was arrested with Dallel Mohmed who was subsequently released. Ms. Mohmed has reported that Israeli forces subjected the two to sleep deprivation and constant shackling and interrogation. Trevor Baumgartner and three other Americans have been detained by Israeli forces since May 2nd, when they tried to enter the Church of the Nativity to bring food and water to Palestinians under siege there. Reports suggest that the four have been on a hunger strike for the past 10 days.
ADC called upon the State Department to ensure that Americans being held by Israel are not subjected to mistreatment, and that the Israeli authorities allow them their full human and legal rights. ADC is aware of numerous cases of Arab Americans being tortured while in Israeli detention, and being subjected to trials involving secret evidence, military judges and inadequate representation. ADC is also aware of numerous instances in which Israeli authorities have refused to recognize the American citizenship of Arab Americans in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. ADC calls upon the United States government to provide equal protection to all of its citizens abroad, regardless of their ethnicity and regardless of which state’s authority they are under. ADC urges the State Department to do everything in its power to ensure that Americans are not subjected to mistreatment while in Israeli custody.