Jawad Siyam about to be released from house arrest

February 22, 2011 19:28
1 minute read.

A community organizer in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan who was accused of violently attacking another Silwan resident was arrested and detained on the eve of the end of his house arrest on Monday afternoon. Jawad Siyam, the director of the Silwan Information Center and the Madaa Community Center in Wadi Hilweh, was sentenced to five weeks house arrest for attacking another resident in January. He was set to come before a judge on Tuesday, who was expected to release him from house arrest and give Siyam a restraining order against the victim, said left-wing activist Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, who attended the court hearing.

On Monday afternoon, however, Siyam was arrested and brought to a detention center, after police accused him of attacking the same man and violating conditions of his house arrest. Siyam’s co-workers called the alleged attack a “gross fabrication” when he was first arrested, and maintain that he has alibis for the date of the second alleged attack that prove he is innocent.

About 30 activists from the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, which has also been active in Silwan, protested Siyam’s arrest outside the police station in Jerusalem on Monday afternoon. Rabbis for Human Rights also tried to organize a protest outside the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, though it did not take place.

On Tuesday, the judge extended Siyam’s detention until Thursday, at which point the police will have to make a case for Siyam’s continued detention, or he will be re-released to house arrest for an additional five weeks. Siyam has been a defacto spokesperson and international activist for the neighborhood of Silwan, appearing on foreign news programs like CBS’s 60 Minutes and others.

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