Ofer - Popular Struggle

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Observer: Norah Orlow (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.

Morning and Afternoon sessions

A witness for the defense (a photographer) was supposed to testify today in the trial of Bassam Muhammad Abed Alrahman Tamimi – Case No. 2058/11.

Tamimi has been in detention at Ofer for a year, accused of organizing unlawful demonstrations and incitement.

Judge: Major Etty Adar

Prosecution: Captain Michael Avitan

Defense: Atty. Labib Habib

As usual, a large crowd waited for the trial of Bassam Tamimi: diplomats, representatives of human rights organizations, journalists, photographers and many supporters. But the hearing did not take place, despite the long wait by everyone connected to this trial. The reason: the witness, who had had an accident, came to the gate of Ofer Compound at 9 AM but was not allowed to enter because his arm was in a cast! The Prison guards refused to let him in because of the cast. All appeals to their superiors were in vain. The man waited until after lunch break and eventually was sent home, because he was refused entry.

After the break, when the judge found out about the refusal, she summoned the responsible party to court and demanded an explanation for the outrageous denial of entry. The officer explained that in the past they had had problems with people who used their cast to smuggle in contraband objects. This is a bizarre claim considering the sophisticated system and elaborate equipment, including magnetometer and screening machine used in the security room.

The judge rejected the explanation and rescheduled the hearing for 7.3.12 at exactly 11 AM. She instructed the screening officer to see to it that the summoned witness is admitted without delay at the appointed hour.

Many hours were wasted because of this arbitrary injunction and lack of coordination between the various branches of the legal system. The court crews as well as all the visitors mentioned above spent hours waiting for nothing.