ADC Press Release
Mohammed is a 14-year-old Palestinian American from New Orleans who went before an Israeli military court yesterday with his ankles shackled together. Why? He was accused of pelting Israeli military and settler vehicles outside the village of Silwad, northeast of Ramallah, in occupied Palestine. Mohammedâ€™s father, Abdulwahab Khalek, said that his son â€œwas maltreated and had his braces broken from his teeth during the course of his arrest in the early hours of April 5.â€
Human Rights Watch told the press that â€œthereâ€™s no justification for shackling him for 12 hours and interrogating him while refusing to let him see his father or a lawyer.â€ Defense of Children International and Addameer are asking the Israeli authorities to have a parent present at all times during interrogation, as well as grant Mohammed access to a lawyer of their choice prior to interrogation, and preferably throughout the interrogation process.
Despite outrage by human rights organizations, our government has not said a word. When asked to comment, the US consulate in Jerusalem declined. The US State Department, when asked, was not even aware of the case! Mohammadâ€™s father criticized the US governmentâ€™s response to his sonâ€™s arrest in an interview with Reuters. â€œThe U.S. government is obligated to do something for us, but it doesnâ€™t even care.â€
Let Mohammed know that we care! Contact the State Department and ask them to fullfil their obligations in protecting US Citizens. You can either call the State Department at 202-647-4000 or click on the link below to send them a message
When composing your message, be sure to use the email topic: U.S. Foreign Policy >> Middle East
Suggested language to include in your message:
I am writing you as a member of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) regarding the case of Mohammed Khalek. Mohammed is a 14-year-old US citizen from New Orleans who is currently under arrest in Israel. I demand that the State Department fulfill its constitutional and professional obligations and protect US citizens. We want the State Department to immediately contact Mohammed and his family to ensure his rights are being protected. In addition, we urge the State Department to open an investigation into allegations of abuse while detained.
Thank you for taking action!
ADC National Team