From Justice 4 Tristan Anderson. For Immediate Release.
Israel’s High Court ordered the state to re-investigate the case of Tristan Anderson, an American activist who was shot in the head by a tear gas grenade in 2009 in the West Bank village of Ni’lin. Anderson’s skull was shattered in the incident, which also caused severe brain damage and paralysis to half his body.
According to Israeli human rights group Yesh Din, the High Court ordered the state to investigate the claims made by Yesh Din and the Anderson family that Tristan had been shot in the face at close range following a protest against the building of the controversial “Seperation Wall”.
The Samaria and Judea (West Bank) Police District opened an investigation just three days after the incident took place. However, on September 30, 2009, the prosecution announced it had closed the case without any explanation as to why.
According to Attorney Michael Sfard of Yesh Din:
“It is the obligation of the State of Israel to investigate suspicions of unwarranted injury of protesters, which occur time after time… It is a shame that it took three-and-a-half years for the High Court to intervene in order to force the investigators to implement basic investigative procedures.”
Attorneys for Anderson’s family, along with Israeli NGO Yesh Din, appeared before the Israeli High Court of Justice on WED JULY 10 in Jerusalem. The petition challenged the investigation that they claim was blatently inadequate, with the identity of the shooter still being actively withheld to this day.
“Tristan will live the rest of his life with serious mental and physical limitations and chronic pain. This has devastated his life and profoundly affected our family forever,” said Nancy Anderson, Tristan’s mother.
No criminal charges have been brought against any police or military personnel involved in the 2009 shooting of their son. Video evidence uncovered during the course of an ongoing civil lawsuit raises further questions on the credibility of State witnesses, who in contradiction to sworn testimony, are clearly seen shooting tear gas grenades directly at protesters from close range in the video, which was taken earlier that day. The video also raises serious questions relating to the true locations of the various squads of Border Police present at the time of the shooting, with investigators opting only to question those squads that were positioned on the other side of town at the time the shooting occurred, while failing to question the squad that was stationed on the nearby hill where activists say the shots came from. As well, investigators failed to visit the scene of the shooting and made no attempts to collect physical evidence.
Tristan Anderson was shot with a high velocity tear gas grenade, which is manufactured by Combined Systems Inc in Jamestown, PA. In recent years, two activists, Bassem Abu Rahme and Mustafa Tamimi were killed after also being fired on from close range with high velocity tear gas grenades during protests against the building of the “Seperation Wall” in the West Bank.
Tristan Anderson, an International Solidarity Movement activist from Oakland, California, was struck in the head by a tear gas canister during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Ni’lin. His injuries resulted in severe permanent brain damage and paralysis to half his body, according to human rights NGO Yesh Din.