For Immediate Release
Josie Shields-Stromsness: Josie@mecaforpeace.org, 510-759-8844, @mecaforpeace.org.
Direct from Jerusalem: Israeli Arrests and Detention of Palestinian Children
BERKELEY - Children and families in Silwan, East Jerusalem, are facing constant violence, both physical and psychological. Illegal armed settlers are taking over Palestinian homes and land, often viciously attacking Palestinians on the street. Meanwhile bulldozers carry out “administrative demolitions” which leave many homeless and threaten thousands more. Hundreds of people each year – including children as young as six, and many teenagers – are arrested, beaten, and tortured by Israeli police.
One 15-year-old prisoner writes: “They left me in the room for 5 hours with my hands tied behind my back and legs tied to each other. When I refused to confess, they slapped me and tightened my hand ties even more.”
In her first US tour, Palestinian activist Sahar Abbasi Baidson will speak nationally about the Israeli arrests of Palestinian children. The tour is called “Room Number 4,” because Room Number 4 is the name of the Israeli interrogation room at the Russian Compound Detention Center in Jerusalem.
WHO: SAHAR ABBASI BAIDON is Deputy Director of Madaa Silwan Creative Center in Silwan, East Jerusalem, where she works with children who have been arrested; she also runs the women’s program. Sahar is the mother of four.
WHAT: The “Room Number Four” tour includes a stunning photo exhibit about the violations of Palestinian children’s rights, accompanied by written testimonies from the children themselves.
WHEN: The tour is from October 21 – November 5, 2015, and includes stops in Oakland, San Francisco and Sacramento, CA; Albuquerque, NM; Milwaukee & Madison, WI; Greenville, DE; and Philadelphia, PA.
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Founded in 1988 by Barbara Lubin and Howard Levine, the Middle East Children's Alliance is a Berkeley-based non-profit humanitarian aid organization that has delivered more than $10 million in food, medicine and medical supplies to children in the West Bank and Gaza, Iraq and Lebanon. MECA also provides financial assistance to community groups working with children in the Palestine/Israel.