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Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu call for release of Palestinian

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Abdallah Abu Rahmah was convicted of incitement for organizing weekly demonstrations
  • Abu Rahmah was due to be released in November
  • Israel's military extended his sentence

(CNN) -- Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu are urging the Israeli military to release a Palestinian activist who is still imprisoned even though he has already served his prison sentence.

Abdallah Abu Rahmah, 39, was convicted of incitement for organizing weekly demonstrations in the West Bank village of Bil'in against what Israel calls its security barrier and Palestinians call an apartheid separation wall.

Abu Rahmah was scheduled to be released on November 25, but an Israeli military court extended his sentence.

Carter and Tutu, who are part of a group of world leaders called the Elders, released a statement this week condemning Abu Rahmah's continued imprisonment.

"Israeli military prosecutors want to extend Abdallah Abu Rahmah's sentence as a deterrent to others who may follow his example. The Elders believe that his example of non-violent resistance against the occupation is a model that others should follow," the former U.S. president said in the statement.

Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and former archbishop of South Africa, said Abu Rahmah shouldn't have been convicted and called for his "immediate and unconditional release."