To her Excellency the Israeli Ambassador
I write on behalf of Westminster and Bayswater Amnesty International Group to express our concern for Anas Abu Srour, 35, has been arrested by the Israeli occupation army on Tuesday, November 28th.
Abu Srour is a 35 year old Palestinian, father to a newborn baby, a husband, son, and friend of the community. He is the Executive Director of the Aida Youth Center in the Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, and is a vital member of the community. He showed the Center to a group of members visiting the Holy Places on a pilgrimage in April, who wrote a report of his humanitarian work which was published by the Independent Catholic News.
He is a man of unimpeachable honesty, integrity, honour and humanity working to better the lives of young people.
Anas travelled in his car from his home in the city of Bethlehem to the central West Bank city of Ramallah the morning of Tuesday November 28th. After completing an English-language exam in Ramallah, Anas sent a text message to his wife Maysan around 11:45 am, telling her that he was on his way home to Bethlehem. That was the last that Maysan heard from him.
After 12 hours of not knowing anything about Anas’ whereabouts, information came through shortly after midnight local time from the Palestinian Authority Liaison Office that he had been abducted by Israeli army forces. The Israeli military did not inform the Palestinian Authority of any details about Anas’ arrest, including where he was arrested from, on what charges, and where he was taken to.
We are extremely worried about Anas’ wellbeing, and I am raising our concerns with the two Members of Parliament our Amnesty group extends to. The current climate in the occupied West Bank is a terrifying one for Palestinians, particularly for Palestinian men like Anas, who are being rounded up and arbitrarily detained by Israeli forces. Since October 7th, detainees and prisoners have reported an increase in the systematic torture by Israeli forces against them, including beatings, verbal and physical harassment and assault, and being stripped naked during the arrest and interrogation process. Israel has also been enforcing the mass arbitrary imprisonment of thousands of Palestinian men, women and children under its policy of administrative detention, which Israel uses to detain Palestinians for months on end without charge or trial.
It seems that Anas has not committed any crime, and that he was arrested for one reason only: that he is Palestinian. Anas is demonstrably committed to non-violent means of supporting the young people living in the Aida Refugee Camp and is avowedly a non-violent humanitarian. We urge the immediate release of Anas from Israeli custody, and the release of all Palestinian prisoners being wrongfully imprisoned by the Israeli occupation. We also urge that he should have access to his lawyers, be treated humanely and that his family and friends be given information about him, his whereabouts and when he will be returned home.
We look forward to hearing from you,
Fleur and Colin Brennan
Westminster and Bayswater Amnesty International