Panama detains head of Brazil-Palestine Institute – Middle East Monitor


Panamanian authorities detained the President of the Brazilian-Palestine Institute (IBRASPAL) Ahmed Shehada on Thursday afternoon at Tocumen International Airport and withdrew his Brazilian passport, Quds Press reported.

Shehada was traveling to Colombia to participate in the second conference of the Palestinian Union in Latin America, which took place between March 17 and 19 in Barranquilla.

Brazil 247 reported that Shehada was questioned by Panamanian intelligence, who unsuccessfully confiscated his cell phone.

According to Brazil 247, ministers from the government of Brazilian President Lula da Silva asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to contact the Brazilian Embassy in Panama to get support for Shehada, who is a Brazilian citizen.

After those encounters, Panama decided to deport Shehada back to Brazil.

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IBRASPAL Vice President Sayid Marcos Tenório expressed his opinion: “The state of Panama is under American occupation. American and Israeli intelligence is targeting anyone who works against the Zionist Imperial policies.”

Tenório said: “The targeting of Shehada by this state is an absurd move that violates his rights as a Brazilian citizen of Palestinian origin.”

He indicated that the Brazilian authorities should summon the Panamanian ambassador to ask for clarification about the detention of Brazilian citizens.

In a statement, the Panamanian Committee of Solidarity with the Palestinian People condemned Shehada’s detention. Many other Brazilian groups and organizations expressed solidarity with Shehada.

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