Israel/Palestine: Singer Oday Khatib set free

Oday Khatib, an acclaimed Palestinian singer from the Ramallah-based Al Kamandjati music school, has been released after three months in prison for allegedly throwing stones at Israeli soldiers.

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This was reported by Sandy Tolan and Anan Abu-Shanab of Alkamandjati Association on 6 June 2013.

Oday Khatib is a singer who has recorded and performed across Europe and the Arab world. He was arrested on 19 March 2013 at Al Fawwar refugee camp near Hebron. He maintains that he was not throwing stones, but rather standing near a group of boys who were. Nevertheless he was arrested by Israeli soldiers, beaten “really badly”, and charged with the crime of stone-throwing.

For two months Oday and his lawyer maintained his innocence to the military authorities, reminding them that he was a singer, had never been arrested, and was not interested in throwing stones.

“I have my life and my work to worry about,” he told them.

Oday has long maintained that his resistance to Israel’s occupation would come through his music. During the trial, Oday said, “soldiers and witnesses lied” about his alleged crime. Faced with the prospect of a long prison term, the singer agreed to plead guilty in exchange for the three-month term.

alkamandjati.com