Freedom Theatre rally remembers Mer Khamis
13th Apr 2012
Category: Other News
On April 4 2011, Israeli-Palestinian Juliano Mer Khamis was brutally gunned down by an unknown killer in front of the Freedom Theatre, the arts group he co-founded for Palestinians living in the West Bank’s Jenin Refugee Camp.
Exactly a year later, around 100 people gathered outside the Muqataa presidential compound to remember the visionary leader, and to demand justice for his killer, who has yet to be found.
Many of the demonstrators held images of Mer Khamis, who was born to a Jewish mother and Christian father, and banners reading ‘You can take my life but you can't take my soul’.
According to an Agence France Presse correspondent, the UN's humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, Maxwell Gaylard, issued a statement remembering the theatre director as ‘a visionary and courageous peacemaker and a champion of culture and freedom of expression’.
Speaking to IAM on the day after the rally, Rawand Arqawi, acting coordinator at the Freedom Theatre’s school, said that as well as honouring Mer Khamis’ legacy, the demonstrators were ‘demanding to know why his killer is still free and where he is’.
Palestinian authorities have yet to make any arrests in connection with the murder. A local man was reportedly detained in the wake of the shooting, but was released shortly afterwards.
Arqawi said the rally unfortunately didn’t garner any response from the police. ‘My opinion is that they don’t care about finding the killer,’ she added. ‘They don’t take it seriously. Theirs is an investigation of politics and security, not an investigation into Juliano’s death.’
Photograph: Freedom Theatre students perform in Waiting for Godot