Court Orders Release of Hebrew University Lecturer Suspected of Incitement

Posted on Apr 19, 2024 by Ifi Reporter

 Professor Nadira Shalhoub-Kiborkian, a lecturer at Hebrew University, has been ordered to be released by the court. Shalhoub-Kiborkian was arrested on suspicion of incitement following her remarks regarding the Hamas attack on October 7 and the subsequent conflict.

The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, presided over by Judge Dov Pollock, rejected the police's request to extend Shalhoub-Kiborkian's detention by a week. The judge cited insufficient evidence presented by the police to justify her continued custody. Despite an appeal by the police, the district court upheld the release decision.

During the hearing, the police representative argued that Shalhoub-Kiborkian's statements posed a danger, potentially influencing citizens to commit acts against the State of Israel. However, Judge Pollock criticized the lack of substantial evidence connecting her statements to illegal activities.

While acknowledging that some of Shalhoub-Kiborkian's expressions may border on incitement, Judge Pollock emphasized the absence of evidence demonstrating her dangerousness warranting detention.

The discussion also revealed that Shalhoub-Kiborkian was questioned about academic articles she had published, marking the first instance of an Israeli academic being interrogated about their scholarly work. Her lawyer, Hassan Jabarin, highlighted that these articles had been studied for years and were not indicative of criminal behavior.

Shalhoub-Kiborkian's suspension from teaching on March 12, following controversial comments made in an interview, further underscores the contentious nature of her statements. In the interview, she referred to Israel as a "necrophilic killing machine" and criticized the situation in Gaza.

The court's decision to release Shalhoub-Kiborkian reflects a delicate balance between freedom of speech and concerns about incitement, highlighting the complexities surrounding academic freedom and public discourse in Israel.


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