A committee of the National Lawyers Guild, a U.S.-based organization of progressive lawyers, legal workers, law students and jailhouse lawyers, sent a letter to the Bulgarian Ambassador to the United States urging Bulgaria to reject the Israeli request to extradite former Palestinian political prisoner Omar Nayef Zayed.
Zayed, who has lived in Bulgaria for the past 22 years, escaped Israeli custody in 1990; he is married to a Bulgarian woman and has three Bulgarian children. He has now been taking refuge in the Palestinian Embassy in Sofia for over three weeks, rejecting the extradition and demanding to remain in his home with his family.
The NLG’s Palestine Subcommittee sent the letter to Elena Poptodorova, Bulgaria’s ambassador to the United States. “We urge the Bulgarian government to reject the extradition request of the State of Israel as it relates to a political offense and not a criminal matter, and thus is ineligible under the European Convention on Extradition. Furthermore, we urge the Bulgarian government to defend its resident Omar Nayef Zayed, cancel any and all orders and warrants for his arrest or questioning, and allow him to live his life with his family in Bulgaria,” wrote the Guild.
In addition, the Palestine Subcommittee also wrote to Palestinian representative to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, supporting Zayed’s refuge inside the Palestinian embassy in Sofia and urging the Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority to do their utmost to defend Zayed and support his legal struggle.
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) was formed in 1937 as the United States’ first racially-integrated bar association to advocate for the protection of constitutional, human and civil rights.
Letter to Bulgarian ambassador (Download PDF): Palestine Subcommittee letter to Bulgarian Embassy on Omar Nayef Zayed
Letter to Palestinian ambassador (Download PDF): Palestine Subcommittee Letter to Palestine Embassy on Omar Nayef Zayed