In December 2015, 12-year old Shadi Farah became the youngest Palestinian political prisoner. Shadi and his friend Ahmad were arrested at a bus stop in Jerusalem. A group of East Jerusalem illegal settlers called police to investigate the two boys, on suspicion of being Palestinian.
In the ensuing process of arrest, interrogation, and abuse, the Israeli police proclaimed that the two boys had gone to Jerusalem with the intent to stab a soldier, and subsequently charged them both with attempted manslaughter. During the interrogation, the boys were shouted at, beaten and given electric shocks. According to Shadi’s family, he still maintains his innocence, but in the Israeli courts, no evidence is needed to convict a Palestinian.
Shadi is now imprisoned in al Masra youth detention centre, a facility for teenagers incarcerated for theft, assault and drug possession, where he suffers from abuse and isolation. His family visits him as often as possible, but travelling from the hometown Kufr Akab to the north of Israel is expensive, and the Farah family has no prospect of paying for a good lawyer to take Shadi’s case.
The reason this can happen is that the Israeli authorities believe the international community doesn’t care. With this campaign, we're going to prove them wrong!
Shadi’s unjust incarceration has not been without cost for the family, emotionally as well as economically. The Farah family in general has little money, and the imprisonment of Shadi is a heavy burden on the family's economy. In order to visit Shadi at the al Marsa detention center, the family has to rent a car and pay for the gas, amounting to about 800 NIS (almost €200) per trip.
The Farah family has already been forced to borrow money in order to cover these expenses, and on top of that they have to finance the expenses of the upcoming trial, amounting to approximately €1000, something that is common practice when it comes to Palestinians.
For the time being, Shadi has been appointed an Israeli lawyer. But as a Palestinian being prosecuted under a racist apartheid system, he will need a good lawyer with expert knowledge and experience in defending Palestinians, if he wants any hope of avoiding prison.
Shadi’s trial has been set to October 27, and it is expected that he will be sentenced to prison for at least two years. After this trial, it will be possible to appeal the case, but the only chance of winning the appeal is to get a good lawyer, which will amount to a minimum of another €3500.
We are doing this campaign to collect €4500 for Shadi's legal case and to create awareness about child prisoners in Israel. But only if we reach our goal, the money will be withdrawn and sent to Shadi and his family, so we need your help.
Please support the campaign by pledging and by sharing it!
Let's tell Israel that they can't put children in prison without resistance from the international community - let's #bringShadihome!