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Amnesty Demands Israel Drop Charges Against Palestinian Activist

FILE - Issa Amro inspects an office of the Palestinian activist group Youth Against Settlements that was raided by Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, Nov. 8, 2015.

Amnesty International demanded Tuesday that Israel drop charges against a Palestinian human rights activist on the eve of his trial in a West Bank military court.

"The deluge of charges against Issa Amro does not stand up to any scrutiny," Amnesty Middle East director Magdalena Mughrabi said.

"In their determination to silence him and stifle his human rights work, the Israeli authorities have apparently even reopened a closed case file," Mughrabi said. "People who speak out about human rights abuses should be protected, not assaulted and harassed."

Amro runs a group that Amnesty says organizes peaceful protests against what it calls illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank city of Hebron, as well as against other acts of discrimination against Palestinians.

He faces several charges including insulting an Israeli soldier, assault, and marching in a protest without a permit — an act Amnesty says is not a crime.

Amnesty is also calling on Israeli authorities to investigate allegations that Amro was beaten while in police custody.

Israeli authorities have not yet responded to Amnesty's demand that all charges be dropped.