The conviction of a Bilin resident who had organized demonstrations against the construction of the West Bank security barrier is "deeply concerning," the European Union's foreign affairs chief said Wednesday.
On Tuesday an Israeli military court convicted Abdallah Abu Rahmah, head of the Committee against the Separation Fence, on charges of incitement and organizing and attending demonstrations. His sentencing is scheduled for next month.
Catherine Ashton said the EU considers Abu Rahmah to be a "human rights defender committed to non-violent protest against the route of the Israeli separation barrier through his West Bank village of Bilin.
"The EU considers the route of the barrier where it is built on Palestinian land to be illegal. The High Representative (Ashton) is deeply concerned that the possible imprisonment of Mr Abu Rahmah is intended to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest against the existence of the separation barriers in a non-violent manner," she said in a statement.
Ashton noted that the EU "attended all court hearings in the case of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, who has been in detention since 10 December 2009."
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