9 March 2008



"We are friends and supporters of Dr. Gassan Sharif Haled’s family for the past five years, both from Israel and from the international community. Some of us are also frequent visitors of Gassan’s parent’s home in the West Bank village of Ja’ayus. We ask you to sign this petition to demand the immediate release from prison of our dear friend, who holds a Ph.D. in law and is a respected professor of international law at Al-Jajah University in Nablus.

We can wholeheartedly attest that the members of this family are moderates and genuine peace seekers; they respect all humanity and are sincere adherents of the path of non-violence. We are blessed to be befriended by this noble family.

Dr. G. Haled was to be promoted in the near future to assistant-professorship at the Law Faculty of A-Najah University. Dr. G. Haled is an expert in International Commercial Law; he supervises 17 students in graduate programs and lectures in front of hundreds and is highly respected by the students as a teacher. In addition, Dr. Haled holds the position as the university’s arbitrator in internal matters, and we suspect that an unhappy grievant in one such case may have been the source of the allegations against Dr. Haled.

His abduction by the Israeli Secret Service has damaged not only Dr. G. Haled and his close family, but also the academic programs at the law school, where the academic routine is already hampered by arbitrary constraints regularly imposed by the Occupation.

Since his arrest, Dr. G. Haled has been subjected to severe and humiliating interrogation by the Secret Service. Immediately following his abduction, he was chained to a chair for 21 continuous hours each day for six days running. For three weeks following his arrest nothing was known of his whereabouts or about the “formal” pretext for his disappearance; only then was his attorney granted access to him. His detention has been extended every 8 days since.

The suspicions against Dr. G. Haled seem to us ridiculous if not impossible: we will not be surprised to discover soon that the Secret Service has merely succumbed to baseless rumors. Not once this had “happened” before, when this respectable institution sufficed itself with little more than scant gossip for critically disrupting the lives of his “suspects”.

Two days ago (27/2/2008) eight of us were present at the military court when Gassan’s detention was extended for nine additional days. The physical and mental hardships to which he has been subjected were evident in his appearance, in particular his notably bent torso. Towards the end of the hearing he asked the judge for the permission to speak briefly. Though permission was granted, when Gassan stood up, he was unable to utter a word as was choked with tears, evidently overwhelmed by his humiliations. When several minutes later he regained composure, he recounted the details of what he was repeatedly questioned about in the 45 days since his arrest: several SMS and email messages between unrelated third parties which the Shabak (Secret Service) had picked up and which suggested that Dr. Haled is an active Hammas member. Dr. Haled maintained that he had not the slightest idea about the source or the motives of those behind the baseless allegations.

Consequently, we do not rule out the possibility that the basic motive for this demonstration of evil originates from a wider scope - crippling the pedestals of the Palestinian society, which is attempting to survive and develop against all stakes.

PLEASE JOIN US in demanding that the Israeli military release Dr. G. Haled from the Secret Service’s prison; Israel's security will not be compromised, and Dr. G. Haled and his family will be spared further suffering and injustice!




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