Protester arrested

Published October 1, 2009

Protest organizer Mohammed Khatib and lawyer Emily Schaeffer travelled across Canada to talk about international law violations.

Kairos, an ecumenical social justice organization, is encouraging Canadians to support people who live in the Palestinian West Bank village of Bil’in who are known for their non-violent protests but have recently faced military raids and arrests.

One of the protest organizers recently arrested was Mohammed Khatib, who came to Canada in June on a speaking tour partly sponsored by Kairos. He and a lawyer from an Israeli law firm representing the village had travelled across Canada talking about the villagers’ protest against Israeli occupation. Instead of contesting in Israeli courts, the village decided to sue the developers, two corporations registered in Canada, in a Quebec court.

Mr. Khatib and lawyer Emily Schaeffer travelled across spoke about why the corporations were violating international law by building on occupied land. The corporations asked the court to dismiss the case because it was not within its jurisdiction. That decision is not expected until the fall.

Although the Israeli military has not given any explanation for the raids and arrests in the village, Ms. Schaeffer says many in the village see the arrests, which began the same week as the preliminary court hearings in Montreal, “as an attempt to break the non-violent resistance movement in the village.”


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