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Protest Purim Carnival at Ofer Prison: release circus artist Abu Sakha!

Today (Mon.) -

On the occasion of the Jewish Holiday of Purim there will take place today, Monday March 21 a Protest Adloyada (Purim Carnival) outside the Ofer Detention Center on the outskirts of Ranmallah on the West Bank, demanding the immediate release of Palestinian circus artist Mohammed Abu Sakha – held for the past three months under Administrative Detention, without trial and without being presented with any evidence of having committed any felony. Israeli peace and human rights activists, dressed in colorful Purim costumes and masks, will meet at 10.00 am at the parking lot near the detention center and there hold their protest. Purim is celebrated in Jewish tradition as a holiday commemorating sudden changes of fortune, with righteous people being suddenly redeemed from great misfortune and danger. This seems a good time to call for the release of an unjustly held detainee. And the detained Abu Sakha being a circus artist and clown, well known for his artistic talent, it is especially fitting to remember him on a holiday which is celebrated by masks and costumes and public performances of clowns and circus artists on the streets of Israeli cities.

Human rights activist Hanita Hendelman, a major organizer in the campaign for the release of Abu Sakha, says: "Already we held earlier this month a circus protest of this kind of near the Megiddo Prison, where he is held. We held an improvisation circus show on the prison parking lot. It was funny when the demonstrating Israeli circus performers threw loops back and forth right above the cops’ heads. This time we're going to do the same at the Ofer Detention Center, the focal point from where the State of Israel is sending hundreds of Palestinians to detention and imprisonment for having resisted the occupation."

Hanita Hendelman, who lives in Kiryat Tivon in north Israel is already for many years involved with the Kfar Yehoshua Circus School, where she coordinates multicultural projects aimed at bringing Jews and Arabs together through the study and practice of circus art.

Comtact: Hanita Hendelman +972-(0)54-2313134 Facebook page with photo:

Amnesty International UK statement


23-year-old Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha has been held by the Israeli military without any contact with his family since late last year. He hasn’t been charged with a crime and the authorities refuse to give a reason for his detention.

Mohammad was taken on his way to work at the Palestinian Circus School, where he teaches children with learning difficulties. He is being denied the right to defend himself. Tell the Israeli authorities to end this injustice immediately.

Samidoun statement

Free Mohammed Abu Sakha, Trainer/Performer of the Palestinian Circus School NewsTake ActionDecember 26, 2015 The Palestinian Circus School has issued a call for action for Mohammed Abu Sakha, a trainer/performer at the school, who was issued an administrative detention order for imprisonment without charge or trial by the Israeli military courts. Follow all updates on Mohammed’s case at their site:

Last Monday, December 14, Israeli soldiers arrested a member of the circus family, Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha, 23 years old, at Zaatara checkpoint, while on his way from his family home in Jenin to Ramallah to attend a music concert. Mohammad has been detained for a week now, and is being kept in military detention centers in the West Bank. Palestinians arrested under Israeli military law, are mostly exposed to serious physical and psychological violence, transfers and harsh interrogations, sometimes aiming to obtain false confessions.

Mohammad is part of the Palestinian Circus School since 2007, first as a student and since 2011 as a full time trainer and performer. Mohammad is very passionate about his work in general and about the social programs of the school in particular. He’s known with his magic ability to draw smiles on all people’s faces. Mohammed his entire life is dedicated to the circus.

He was arrested without any reason and no charge was made against him.

December 22, in Military Court at Salem, Mohammed AbuSakha was given administrative detention, but no charges were presented against him. Administrative detention can lead to from 3 months up to indefinite detention, without the need for any charge to be presented against him.

We strongly condemn the arbitrary detention of our colleague and friend and ask you to join us in solidarity to free Mohammed AbuSakha so he can come back and be with his students, his colleges and his family.

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Avaaz statement

Israeli Defense Forces: Free circus trainer and artist Mohammed Faisal Abu Sakha


LETTER TO: Israeli Defense Forces

Telephone: +972-(0)3-697-7957 Fax: +972-(0)3-697-5177

We call for the immediate release of Palestinian circus trainer and artist Mohammed Faisal AbuSakha, detained by the Israeli military on Monday 14 of December at the Zaatara Checkpoint while crossing by taxi from his home in Jenin to his work in Ramallah to assist a music concert. Mohammed was asked to step out of the car and was then taken to a military detention center.

On Monday December 22, he was sentenced by a military court to administrative detention, without any charges presented to him. Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. His detention order is currently under review by the Ofer Military Court in the West Bank and if confirmed, Mohammed will be subjected to six months detention, without charge or trial, renewable indefinitely.

The Israeli practice of administrative detention has been condemned on numerous occasions by the UN Human Rights Office and the Human Rights Committee that oversees implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Israel has ratified.

Thousands of people and organizations around the world stand with Mohammed AbuSakha, a clown, an artist, a wonderful soul with a passion is to make people laugh and to teach children circus to offer them a bright future.

Read here the statement of the circus school where Mohammed has been a student since 2008, and is now employed since 2011.

The world stands with Mohammed against this injustice. Check out a video here: