On Thursday, the Palestinian Public Prosecution in Ramallah released the human rights activist and human rights defender Muhannad Karajah, under guarantee of his place of residence, and indefinitely postponed the cases filed against him due to his professional and human rights activities. Meanwhile, the Public Prosecutor decided to refute the defense submitted by the defense.
On Wednesday, the Public Prosecution in Ramallah began investigating Karajah on charges of “slander and defamation of the authority and inciting racial strife,” based on a criminal complaint that was filed against the Palestinian General Intelligence Service over a post published on the “Lawyers for Justice” group.
Lawyer Karajah is the director and founder of the “Lawyers for Justice” group, and he has a long history of working before the Palestinian courts.
In a statement of the group it was confirmed that the post was about the arrest of citizen (Z.Z), which was considered as “arbitrary and illegal arrest, as it was carried out without an arrest warrant or summons from the competent authority, in addition to his detention for five days without being brought before any Judicial body”.
The defense team requested the Chief Public Prosecutor to reject the case since it goes against the Law Regulating the Legal Profession, Article 20, which prohibits the prosecution of stalking of a lawyer as a result of his professional and legal work.
The “Lawyers for Justice” group condemned these measures for restricting human rights work in Palestine, stressing that the human rights record in Palestine “has become intolerable and it aims at silencing all voices calling for the closure of political detention prisons.”
The group launched an urgent appeal to demand a halt to all procedures filed by the Public Prosecution against Lawyer Karaja.
It called on all local and international organisations, institutions and concerned bodies to intervene immediately to stop the prosecution of the human rights activist and lawyer, as it affects the freedom of legal and human rights activities guaranteed under the Law Regulating the Legal Profession, which is also protected by the Palestinian Basic Law and relevant international agreements.
On Wednesday during the session of lawyer Muhannad Karajah to the court, human rights activists organised a solidarity sit-in in front of the Magistrate’s Court in Ramallah, central occupied West Bank, condemning the authority for brining human rights defenders to court.
Last July, the PA security forces arrested lawyer Karajah in front of the Ramallah court, while he was wearing a lawyer’s robe and standing with three activists, before the beginning of a solidarity stand with detainees for their participation in a demonstration that took place the day before condemning the assassination of opposition leader Nizar Banat.
Hours later, lawyer Karajah was released after signing a pledge to return to the Public Prosecution office the next day to transfer him to court and bring him to trial.