Pro - Palestinian activists have staged a protest outside the office of the French Football Federation(FFF) in Paris, demanding the release of Palestinian sportsmen held by Israel.
Dozens of activists gathered in front of the FFF building on Wednesday to demand the federation get information on two jailed Palestinian footballers. They say Omar Abu Rouis and Mohammed Nemer from the Palestinian National Team have been imprisoned by Israel since February 2012, and there is no word on their whereabouts. Olivia Zemor, a spokesperson for the activists, said the two men have been behind bars without having been charged or brought to trial and were tortured during their interrogations. The protesters were holding placards and banners bearing anti-Israeli slogans. "Criminal Israel FFF accomplice" and "Free the imprisoned Palestinian footballers," they read. French police reportedly broke up the protest and forcibly evacuated the activists. Meanwhile, Palestinian football player Mahmoud Sarsak is touring France to raise awareness on Israel’s torturing of jailed Palestinian sportsmen. Sarsak was arrested by Israel forces in July 22, 2009 and released July 10, 2012 after a hunger strike. He says he was imprisoned by Israel without any legal bases and was tortured while in custody. According to Palestinian sources, over 4,500 Palestinian prisoners are held in Israeli prisons, many of them without charge or trial, and are subject to human rights violations such as the use of torture during interrogations.