PSP Coordinator Sentenced to 6 months in Prison for Work with PSP

19 November 2006

Yousef Abu Maria, 28 years old, Beit Ommar

Yousef worked as the PSP Coordinator in Beit Ommar for approximately 2 months before being arrested in a non-violent demonstration in June, 2006. Nearly 3 months later, he was finally brought before a military court in Ofer on 5 September 2006 and sentenced to 6 months in prison for his activities with PSP (including the time he has already spent in jail). He is currently being held in Ofer detention camp, and should be released on 4 January.

Yousef was first interrogated in Gush Etzion Settlement police station and was repeatedly asked about his activities with international activists.

During the interrogation, the Israeli shabak (General Security Services) tortured Yousef by beating him on his head and stomach, forcing him to sit for hours in painful positions, and tying a dirty bag over his head for hours at a time. When he was arrested in July 2006, Yousef was already in poor health due to his previous imprisonment from 2000 to 2004, and suffered from stomach problems. His stomach problem has become worse from the beating and the bad conditions in prison, and he has not received sufficient medical treatment. PSP remains very worried about his deteriorating health.

Yousef’s family is also suffering because of his imprisonment. His father is blind and cannot work on the family’s land, so Yousef was responsible for taking care of their land – the main source of income for the entire family.