Support the Palestinian civilian population and its students : free Layan Nasir !
The last Israeli attack on Gaza in May surprised by the solidarity and unity of the Palestinian civilian population in the West Bank and Israel. The extremely well attended general strike demonstrated the power of trade union organisations in a situation of generalised crisis.
Following the ceasefire, the Israeli army has been carrying out an offensive against these organisations and the activists it considers most effective for several months. This has resulted in hundreds of arbitrary violent arrests, detentions, dissolutions of organisations, closures of premises, theft of computer equipment, etc.
For decades, youth and students who contribute to popular resistance against the Israeli apartheid regime have been a prime target for silencing. Student organisations are particularly targeted, and dozens of students have been arrested, beaten and arbitrarily detained.
The case of Layan Nasir, 21, a fourth-year student studying nutrition at Bir Zeit University in the occupied West Bank, is emblematic. Her house was stormed by the Israeli army on 7 July 2021. Layan Nassir was then handcuffed, with a mask covering her eyes and mouth, arrested and transported to the Ofer military camp for interrogation, and then transferred to Ha Sharon prison where she is still being held.
The charges against Layan relate mainly to her alleged membership of a left-wing student organisation (the Democratic Progressive Student Pole, DPSP) which the Israeli army has declared illegal, as it does for all student organisations, a practice denounced by Palestinian human rights organisations. The Ofer military court has scheduled a new hearing of Layan Nasir for 24 August 2021.
In the face of this clear denial of freedom of association, expression and the right to form trade unions to students, we demand the immediate and unconditional release of Layan Nasir, as well as the dozens of students detained for similar reasons, such as the 45 Bir Zeit students arrested on 14 July after returning from a peaceful demonstration in support of the villagers of Turmus Ayya.