On Saturday, July 25, Scientists for Palestine issued an international petition to call for the immediate release of detained Palestinian astrophysicist, Prof. Imad Barghouthi, a member of the physics faculty at Al-Quds University and a former NASA employee who earned his Ph.D. at Utah State University. The statement is signed by a number of prominent scholars, including Field Medalist David Mumford; USACBI Advisory Board member Chandler Davis, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Toronto; and USACBI Organizing Collective members David Klein, Professor of Mathematics, California State University Northridge, and Rima Najjar, Retired Professor, Al Quds University.
The petition notes that “the harassment of Palestinian Scientists is a direct violation of human rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 27, as well as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, article 15), as well as an attack to scholars everywhere.”
Prof. Barghouthi was seized from an Israeli occupation checkpoint in Anata on 16 July and is expected to be brought back before an Israeli military court on Monday, 27 July. This is not the first time the scientist has been targeted. Barghouthi was previously held under administrative detention – Israeli imprisonment without charge or trial – for two months in 2014 and detained once more for six months in 2016. In both cases, his arrest triggered a strong response from the international scientific and academic community to demand his release.
USACBI is appalled by the ongoing attacks on the right to science – and the right to education – in occupied Palestine and calls for the immediate release of Prof. Imad Barghouthi. he ongoing targeting of Palestinian academics, including scientists, poses a direct threat to Palestinian academic freedom and the educational process and underlines the importance of the international academic boycott of Israel.
We urge supporters, especially fellow scholars and academics, to join the petition issued by Scientists for Palestine:
Sign the petition organized by Scientists for Palestine to demand freedom for Prof. Imad Barghouthi, and share the petition on social media: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/demand-an-end-to-the-harassment-of-palestinian-scientists-and-academics-and-an-immediate-release-of-prof-imad-barghouthi/
Full petition text and signatories:
On Thursday, July 16th 2020, Professor Barghouthi, an astrophysicist at the university of Al-Quds  in East Jerusalem was detained  by Israeli military forces at a military checkpoint outside of Anata while he was travelling from the university campus to his home in Ramallah. He is now being kept in an Israeli detention facility, prohibited from contact with his dear wife and children. No charges have been brought against him and he faces the potential threat of administrative detention. Administrative detention , an illegal measure used arbitrarily by the Israeli military forces to detain Palestinians without any charges or trials. If charges were to be placed against him, he would face trial by an Israeli military court, which notoriously has conviction rates of almost 100% .
This arrest is not an isolated case. Prof. Barghouthi, one of Palestine’s most prominent scientists, was placed under administrative detention for two months  in 2014, and was again detained for six months  in 2016. Mr. Ubai Aboudi (a US citizen), the director of the Bisan Center for Research and Development, was abducted from his home in November 2019 and placed in administrative detention. He remains in prison to this day. Both Prof. Barghouthi and Mr. Aboudi have worked with S4P on our international meetings and schools in Palestine, and their arrest and detention seriously hinders our work supporting science in Palestine.
The harassment of Palestinian Scientists is a direct violation of human rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights , article 27, as well as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights , article 15), as well as an attack to scholars everywhere.
As concerned members of the international academic community, S4P calls for all scholars to join our plea and demand the immediate release of Prof. Barghouthi and a stop to the imprisonment of Palestinian scientists!
Scientists for Palestine – Central Committee
Ahmed Abbes, Directeur de recherche au CNRS, Paris
Philip Argyres, Physics Department, University of Cincinnati
Michel Broué, Professeur émérite à l’université Paris Diderot
Noam Chomsky, Laureate Professor of Linguistics, Agnese Nelms Haury Chair, University of Arizona
Chandler Davis, Professor of Mathematics, University of Toronto
Michel Anne-Frederic DeGraff, Professor of Linguistics, MIT
John Ellis, Clerk Maxwell Professor of Theoretical Physics, King’s College, London
Catherine Goldstein, Directrice de recherche au CNRS, Paris
Michael Harris, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University
Nabil Iqbal, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University
David Klein, Professor of Mathematics, California State University Northridge
Assaf Kfouri, Professor of Mathematics, Boston University
Madalena Lemos, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University
Mario Martone, Department of Physics, University of Texas at Austin
Anat Matar, Philosophy department, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Haynes Miller, Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
David Mumford, Professor Emeritus of Applied Mathematics, Field Medalist, Brown University
Rima Najjar, Retired Professor, AQU
Andy O’Bannon, Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Royal Society Research Fellow, University of Southampton
Joseph Oesterlé, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, Sorbonne University
Nasser Rabbat, Aga Khan Professor, Department of Architecture, MIT
Raid M Suleiman, Center for Astrophysics Harvard & Smithsonian
Annick Suzor-Weiner, Université de Paris-Saclay
Edriss Titi, Professor of Mathematics, University of Cambridge
Franz-Josef Ulm, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thomas Van Riet, Institute for Theoretical Physics, KU Leuven
Roy Wagner, Prof. Geschichte u. Philo. d. Math.Wiss., ETH Zurich
Bernardo Zan, Department of Physics, Princeton University
 Department of Physics, Al-Quds University: https://www.alquds.edu/en/staff-profiles/faculty-of-science-technology/175-department-of-physics/707-imad-ah mad-barghouthi.html.
: B’tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupation Territories: https://www.btselem.org/administrative_detention
: Human Rights Watch report: https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/12/17/born-without-civil-rights/israels-use-draconian-military-orders-repress.
: Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
: International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/cescr.aspx.