Israeli Court Rules To Keep Palestinian Clown in Jail Without Trial

Sameera Ehteram
Israel seems particularly fond of detention without trial even though international law permits it only in extremely limited, emergency circumstances.

Israel’s internal security agency Shin Bet arrested Mohammed Abu Sakha, a Palestinian circus clown on December 2015 and put him under “administrative detention.”

Though they have filed no charges against him, they claim he’s a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist group.

Israel can keep terror suspects without trial for periods of six months, renewable indefinitely under administrative detention, and that’s what happened to Abu Sakha.

He is to be held without trial for another six months — that would be a year since he has been detained without charges or trial.

As Amnesty International rightly puts it, the power of administrative detention is "used by Israel as a way of sidestepping the criminal justice system and detaining people who should never have been arrested."


The Shin Bet claims Abu Sakha is “a threat to the security of the region,” and is being held without trial because the evidence against him is classified.

Abu Sakha denies these claims.

He is a member of the Palestinian Circus School that train Palestinians children and youth in circus arts and thereby “strengthen the social, creative and physical potential of the Palestinians, seeking to engage and empower them to become constructive actors in society,” the school’s website says.

Abu Sakha used to help and train disabled children.

“When he is with me, I feel there is no difference between me and other children,” recalls 9-year-old Muhammad, one of his students. “When I would stand and fall, he would come behind me and hold me.”

Check Out: Palestinian Children vs. The Israeli Army In images

Protests have been held around the world over Abu Saha’s detention without trial. Amnesty International and Palestinian cultural institutions launched an appeal to help Abu Sakha three months after his arrest.






His fans have uploaded a video on Facebook as well:


According to B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, Abu Sakha is one of 568 Palestinians currently being held under administrative detention. Over the last decade, Israel has imprisoned nearly 4,000 people in detention without trial and only 35 of them have been Jewish.

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