UEFA member country imprisons two footballers without trial




6 September 2012

Mr Michel Platini, President,

UEFA, Route de Geneve 46,

Case Postale,

CH-1260 Nyon 2



Dear Mr Platini,

UEFA member country imprisons two footballers without trial

On behalf members of our campaign in the UK I ask you to urge Mr Luzon and the Israeli Football Association to help secure the release of Palestinian national team goalkeeper Omar Khaled Abu Rouis and Palestinian youth footballer Mohammed Sadi Nemer. Reports say that they were arrested in February 2012 and have been imprisoned without charge since then, in contravention of International law.  No information has been forthcoming from the Israel authorities.

Under the terms of Israel’s Administrative Detention law, their position will come up for review six months after they were formally placed in detention, which can be some time after actual arrest.  This means a review may have taken place or is pending now, and so urgent action is called for.  I’m sure that you do not want their predicament to worsen to the point where they consider a hunger strike is necessary to secure release, as was the case with Mahmoud Sarsak.

This is yet another football-related example of the human rights abuses that Palestinians suffer.  Currently about 300 persons are imprisoned under Administrative Detention law.  It is but one small example of the severe oppression that Palestinians face in trying to go about their daily life.  The United Nations has recently described this as Apartheid, as did the Russell Tribunal.

Unfortunately, by planning to hold a UEFA tournament in Israel in 2013, UEFA gives the distinct impression that it condones such racist oppression.  That is in spite of its impressive anti-racist policies on the pitch.  UEFA is thus allowing itself to be manipulated by an extreme Israeli government which exploits sports and culture for political purposes.

Therefore on behalf of the members of our campaign in the UK I would again urge you to lead UEFA to move the 2013 U21 finals to another country.

Yours sincerely,


Geoff Lee,


for the Red Card Israeli Racism campaign, London.

cc  Members of the Executive Committee, by email

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