Releasing Mohammad Za’tari after spending 22 months in prison
December 26, 2013

The administration of Jalboo’ prison released 18-year old Mohammad Emad Za’tari after spending 22 months in the Israeli prisons on charges of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails and participating in illegal protests. Za’tari was arrested when he was a minor and was sentenced to 22 months of actual imprisonment despite being 16 years old. The first time Mohammad was arrested was on 08/02/2010, and was charged with assaulting intelligence personnel and was then released on condition of open house arrest. In September 2011, he was arrested on charges of stabbing an Israeli settler and confronting the settler’s family in the neighbourhood of Al-Tur in Jerusalem and was interrogated for a whole week until he confessed to a charge he didn’t commit and only heard about through the media. After being arrested for 6 months, the judge dropped the charges against him and released him because of contradictions in the witnesses’ testimonies (the settler, his wife and children). He was then arrested in 2011 and was sentenced to 22 months of actual imprisonment and house arrest for a year. The freed prisoner was transferred between Al-Maskobyeh and Hasharon minors prison, and was transferred to Nafha prison and then to Jalboo’ when he turned 18. He explained that the minor prisoners’ situation is very critical because of the punishments imposed on them by the prison’s administration as they keep transferring them as well as isolating and assaulting them; they also conduct military training inside their rooms. He pointed out that they prisoners went on a hunger strike for 4 days in 2012 in order to bring veteran prisoners to organize their internal affairs. Mohammad pointed out that in the prison of Jalboo’, the administration imposes punishments on the prisoners on purpose and said: “every day there is a new law in the Israeli prisons.” He also noted that the Israeli prisons’ administration made sure he was transferred to Nafha prison because he met his cousin who is sentenced for 23 life sentences and 100 years. Regarding the prisoners’ message Mohammad said: “the Palestinian prisoners demand a wide and effective popular move in order to release them and improve their arrest conditions.”