14/11/14 Haifa. This year, we have seen incidents of police brutality across many countries that claim to uphold principles of equality throughout the world. Today, high school students in Paris rally after the killing of an environmental activist by the police three weeks prior. In the US, we heard this summer about a young African American man named Michael Brown who held his hands up, without a weapon, and was nonetheless shot dead by the police in Ferguson, Missouri.
Arab citizens of Israel have their own struggle against discrimination and state violence. Distrust of the police runs deep, with 35 Arab citizens killed by police since 2000, 13 others by soldiers or Jewish civilians. Only in three cases were border police convicted of a crime and in those cases only served 6-14 months. Although the Or Commission in 2003 identified serious problems with the police treatment of Arab citizens after 13 were shot dead at a protest in 2000, nothing has been done to move forward on the commission recommendations.
The Mossawa Center is now launching a campaign demanding an end to police brutality focused on the latest casualty of police brutality, Khayr al-Din Hamdan.
On the morning of Saturday, November 8th, after his cousin was arrested by the police, Hamdan approached a cop-car and began making stabbing motions at the window with an object in his hands. When he backed down and turned away from the vehicle, the police exited the car, at which point a member of the police squad shot him through the elbow into his side. The appropriate police protocol is to fire a warning shot in the air and aim below the waste if necessary for self-defense. Neither of these precautions was taken, and instead, the policemen dragged Hamdan into the car where he bled to death as he was transferred to a hospital farther from Kufr Kana than two other hospitals.
No citizen should feel danger rather than protection from their own police force. It is time to stop racial profiling and killing of citizens in our communities and worldwide.
Do your part to make sure that we are all seen as equals in the eyes of the police by sharing this graphic. Do not let Hamdan be ignored like the cases of the other 47 Arab citizens who have been killed in Israel since 2000. Keep him alive in the media.