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A petition about current events at Columbia University and other US campuses

We are closely monitoring the recent developments at Columbia University and other US campuses with growing concern. Echoing the words of Professor Edward Said, who once wrote regarding his advocacy for Palestinian rights from inside the academy, our role as scientists and academics of consciousness is ‘to widen the field of discussion, not to set limits in accord with the prevailing authority’. In this spirit, we encourage you to take a stand in favor of the freedom of expression of students worldwide.

Please consider signing the petition linked here and sharing it widely among your colleagues and within your department.

Prof. Imad Barghouti set to be released imminently

We have just received news from the family of our esteemed colleague, Professor Imad Barghouti: his attorney has confirmed that Professor Barghouti is expected to be released very soon. Specifically, at the latest military court hearing, the judge announced that the administrative detention order under which Professor Barghouti has been incarcerated will conclude tomorrow, April 22nd. This hearing was also attended by professor Barghouti, who with the help of his lawyer was also able to record a brief message where he expressed gratitude to his family and supporters around the world. With tomorrow marking the beginning of Passover, one of the most significant Jewish holidays, there is a possibility that Imad could be released even today! We remain cautiously optimistic, as the fate of Palestinian prisoners is entirely in the hands of Israeli military authorities, and there is no established process to ensure the enforcement of such decisions.

It is important to remember that Professor Barghouti was arrested in October 2023 from his home in the West Bank and has been held for over six months without any formal charges. Furthermore, indirect sources have confirmed that he has endured even harsher conditions than before. During these six months, his family received very few updates about Imad, and last week’s hearing was the first opportunity in six months for his family to hear Imad’s voice. As academics and conscientious individuals, we must remain steadfast in condemning the arbitrary detentions of our Palestinian colleagues. Palestinians are tried in Israeli military courts, which have an alarmingly high conviction rate, and many, like our dear colleague Imad Barghouti, are held under Administrative Detention. There can be no justice or peace in the region as long as these egregious double standards persist.

Professor Barghouti sentenced to administrative detention

We’ve just been informed by his family that Professor Imad Barghouti has been sentenced to six months of administrative detention.

Administrative detention, a procedure employed by Israeli authorities to jail indefinitely without trial and without charges and used routinely against Palestinians, has been condemned by the UN and is in direct violation of Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In the past few weeks, more than a thousands Palestinians have been arrested in the West Banks alone, most of them being put in the regime of administrative detention.

We call for the immediate release of Prof. Barghouti and of the other Palestinians illegally detained, as well as the end to the hostilities immediately in Gaza and a prosecution of war crimes being committed. Please sign the petition here.