(TAMPA, FL 7/5/14) – Yesterday, the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida) called on the U.S. Department of State to demand that Israel immediately release 15-year-old Florida high school student Tariq Khdeir after he was brutally beaten and held by Israeli forces. Khdeir's beating was captured on video. He is a cousin of kidnapped and murdered Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir.
Since CAIR's original call for Khdeir's release:
CAIR-FL issued a community action alert on the case asking people of conscience to contact the State Department.
The State Department has issued a statement confirming that Tariq Khdeir is being held by Israeli authorities in Jerusalem and was visited today by an official from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem. The statement also said: "We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force. We are calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force."
Israel claims it is opening a "probe" of the beating.
Tariq Khdeir's parents say they went to visit him today but were denied that visit by Israeli authorities. Their car was attacked on the way back to their residence.
Tariq Khdeir is scheduled to appear at an Israeli court hearing on Sunday.
CAIR-FL: Autopsy Suggests Palestinian Boy Was Burned Alive, Reports Say (NY Times)
CAIR-FL: American Teen Brutalized by Israeli Police 'to Be Tried Sunday'
CAIR joined Maryland relatives of Tariq Khdeir at a rally today outside the White House in Washington, D.C.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Florida Chief Executive Director Hassan Shibly, 813-541-4321, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-Florida Regional Operations Director Nezar Hamze, 954-673-9459, email@example.com; CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry, (410) 971-6062, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org