Leader of Gaza youth group said arrested by Hamas authorities on return from France

One of the founders of Gaza Youth Break Out (GYBO), known as “Abu Yazan” has reportedly been arrested by the Hamas authorities in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip after returning from a speaking tour in France, the group reported in a press release and via its Twitter account. GYBO came to prominence earlier this year when it published a manifesto condemning Palestinian political factions.

GYBO first reported the arrest early on Monday morning, Gaza time:

The GYBO press release states:

WORRISOME ARREST OF YOUNG POLITICAL ACTIVIST

On August 14th 2011 Abu Yazan, a young political activist from Gaza Youth Breaks Out (GYBO) has been arrested by the Hamas authority. After returning from a trip to France, where he was invited to hold talks about the current situation of the besieged Gaza Strip, he has been called in two times for questioning, until he was finally arrested today. GYBO is a peaceful Palestinian youth movement in Gaza, which gained international attention after publishing a Manifesto in January. Abu Yazan is a leading voice in the movement that is representing a growing number of Gazan youth. The group raises, mainly through new social media like facebook, awareness about the situation under siege for young people in Gaza, and recently called for unity among the Palestinian factions with the aim to target the illegal Israeli occupation. Abu Yazan regularly takes part in demonstrations against the illegal Israeli occupation in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza. No reasons for his arrestment was given up to this time. He also was denied visits by his family and a lawyer.  We call on the authorities to abide by the law.

The Electronic Intifada interviewed Abu Yazan and other members of GYBO in January. Members of GYBO were also active in the “March 15” protests calling for “unity” among divided Palestinian factions.

More recently, GYBO produced a rap video honoring the recent Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

Abu Yazan freed but facing more investigations

On 16 August, GYBO reported via Twitter that Abu Yazan had been released, but was facing more investigations:

Also see: “Leader of Gaza youth movement ‘arrested’.”

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Both the fundamentalist autocrats of Hamas and the corrupt old has beens of Fatah are enough to cause despair in those of us who support a real Palestinian State. Long live GYBO and freedom for Abu Yazan!

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I would also like to know adresses, to which I could write my concern...

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.