End the Israeli Military Detention of Ubai Aboudi

To the People of the International Community, and to UN Members and its General Secretary

Ubai Aboudi, a US citizen, director of the Ramallah-based Bisan Center for Research and Development and a key player in Palestinian civil society, was abducted by the Israeli military occupation on Nov. 13, 2019 and forcefully taken from his home by 12 soldiers. The brutal arrest and detention without charges of Mr. Aboudi violates international law and is a direct attack on anyone attempting to help elevate Palestinian science and education.

To: To the People of the International Community, and to UN Members and its General Secretary
From: [Your Name]

At 3 A.M. on November 13, 2019, Mr. Ubai Aboudi, director of the Ramallah-based Bisan Center for Research and Development, was brutally abducted by the Israeli army. 12 Israeli soldiers forcibly entered and took Mr. Aboudi, a U.S. citizen, from his home in Kufur Aqab in front of his wife and children. The day after the abduction, Mr. Aboudi was brought before the Israeli military tribunal and kept in Israeli custody despite no charges being brought against him. At his hearing on November 18, 2019, Mr. Aboudi was given 4 months of administrative detention.

We condemn this brutal action and administrative detention in the strongest possible terms and call for Mr. Aboudi’s immediate release.

Ubai Aboudi is the director of the Ramallah-based NGO Bisan Center for Research and Development. The Bisan Center is a key player in Palestinian civil society and has worked tirelessly, under the remarkable leadership of Mr. Aboudi, to support Palestinian rights to education. Mr. Aboudi’s brutal arrest is a direct attack on anyone elevating Palestinian education and research and working towards freedom, justice, and equality. The Bisan Center’s and Mr. Aboudi’s recent work has been in alignment with the poor and marginalized in Palestinian society and in working with the Palestinian community on both feminist and youth fronts to advocate for their socio-economic rights. Mr. Aboudi has also been working directly with Scientists for Palestine in organizing the Third International Meeting for Science in Palestine at MIT this January 2020. His imprisonment puts this initiative at risk. Given Mr. Aboudi’s involvement with the international scientific community, we fear that this attack is directed towards those with strong relations with international organizations oriented towards implementing change in Palestine.

Mr. Aboudi’s detention by military forces without cause is a violation of international laws. Israel has been using administrative detention to abuse and detain Palestinans since 1948, without ever letting them see evidence and without ever pressing charges - sometimes for years at a time - in direct contravention of international law. Human rights organizations have long condemned Israeli use of administrative detention against Palestinians [1]. The Geneva conventions prohibit occupying powers from using administrative detention against an occupied population and administrative detention as used by Israel is in further and direct violation of i) articles 49 and 67 of the 4th Geneva Convention ii) of Article 9 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights iii) Article 9 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) iv) as well as a slew of international and human rights laws and principles.

We call on global citizens who stand for the right to due process, the right to academic freedom, and the right to education to stand with us and demand his immediate release. Since early in his career, Mr. Aboudi has been dedicated to building Palestinian academics and advancing Palestinian society as a whole. His family and children are suffering in his absence, and anxious for his release as they prepare for the Christmas season. We ask you to sign this petition, to call your Senators and representatives on Mr. Aboudi’s behalf, and to demand justice for Mr. Aboudi as a political prisoner and Palestinian and US citizen.

We call on all those concerned with human rights and the enforcement of the universal right to education to lend their support for Mr. Aboudi and sign this petition.

[1] Human Rights Watch https://www.hrw.org/news/2013/02/23/israel-end-abusive-detention-practices