A Palestinian child sits on the sidewalk near an Israeli soldier during a demonstration in the West Bank city of Hebron, February 21, 2014.
Ramallah, May 29, 2015—Defense for Children International Palestine will participate in three days of advocacy in Washington beginning on June 1 highlighting the systematic and widespread ill-treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention.
On June 1, at noon, an interfaith vigil marking the International Day for the Protection of the Child kicks off the events. A congressional briefing sponsored by U.S. Representative Keith Ellison at the Capitol Hill Visitor Center on June 2 will highlight the widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children by Israeli forces in the Israeli military detention system.
Among those speaking at the briefing will be Tariq Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian American teenager who was beaten unconscious by Israeli police before being arrested without charge last summer. Representative Ellison will give opening remarks, and Brad Parker of Defense for Children International Palestine, Rabbi Brant Rosen of American Friends Service Committee, and Joe Stork of Human Rights Watch will also speak.
Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts that lack basic and fundamental fair trial guarantees. Since 2000, at least 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in an Israeli military detention system notorious for the systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children.
These events are organized by Defense for Children International Palestine, American Friends Service Committee, and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
DC Advocacy Days Schedule - June 1-3
Monday, June 1
Interfaith Vigil: U.S. Capitol Upper Senate Park, 200 New Jersey Ave NW | 12 pm
Interfaith Vigil on the occasion of the International Day for the Protection of the Child
Tuesday, June 2
Congressional Briefing: Capitol Hill Visitor Center | 9:30 am
Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill, sponsored by Congressman Keith Ellison
“International Juvenile Justice Reform: Children in Israeli Military Detention”
Tariq Abu Khdeir and Suha Abu Khdeir, Palestinian-American family
Brad Parker, International Advocacy Officer & Attorney, DCIP
Rabbi Brant Rosen, Midwest Regional Director, American Friends Service Committee
Joe Stork, Deputy Director, Middle East and North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch
Short Film Premiere: Busboys and Poets, 1025 5th Street NW | 7 pm
“Stolen Futures: Palestinian Children in Israeli Military Prison” will feature live testimony from Tariq Abu Khdeir, followed by a screening of of "Detaining Dreams", a new short film featuring testimony from former child detainees.