Palestinian nutrition student transferred to Israeli military court over campus activism
A Palestinian human rights group urged Israel to stop its repression at universities in the occupied West Bank, as a nutrition student appeared in front of a military court due to her campus activism.
Students at Birzeit University, near Ramallah, have been subject to Israeli army raids, torture, interrogation, and arbitrary detention as part of a systematic and prolonged campaign to silence student activism, a statement released on Tuesday by the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association read.
The statement came on the same day that Israel's military prosecutor submitted charges against Layan Nasir, a 21-year-old Palestinian student at Birzeit University who was detained and interrogated for nearly a month.
Nasir was arrested on 7 July when Israeli forces stormed her home in the occupied West Bank town of Birzeit, saying she was being detained for a short interrogation. She was transported to Ofer military camp handcuffed, blindfolded, and with her mouth covered shut.
During interrogation at Ofer, Nasir exercised her right to remain silent and refused to sign any document presented to her. In her first hearing before an Israeli military court on 8 July, her detention was extended for seven days.
She was then transferred to and held at HaSharon Prison, although she was not subjected to any further interrogation.
The fourth-year nutrition student was made to appear before Ofer due to her alleged activities with the Democratic Progressive Student Pole, a left-wing student organisation that is deemed illegal under an Israeli military order issued in August 2020.
After denying all accusations presented against Nasir, Ofer military court scheduled a witness hearing session on 24 August 2021.
Nasir's arrest is one of the latest in a growing crackdown on Palestinian civil society, especially student expression and activism.
Addameer said that the arrest of Nasir and other students serves Israel's ultimate goal of upkeeping its illegal occupation and an apartheid regime against Palestinians.