Israel has released a Palestinian clown after holding him for 20 months as he was accused of being a member of a terrorist group.
Despite the accusation and the lengthy time in custody Mohammad Abu Sakha was never charged, according to The Times of Israel.
The clown told AFP today that he was released yesterday (August 30) from administrative detention, a form of incarceration which usually applies to security cases.
Under Israeli law, those held under administrative detention can be held without trial for several months and this is renewable.
Sakha explained that the first thing he did upon his release was go back to the West Bank city of Jenin to see his family and friends again.
He claims he was never told why he had been detained or how long he would be held by Israeli forces.
However the Shin Bet security agency alleged that he was part of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a secular terrorism group.
He had been a member of the Palestinian Circus School since 2008 in the West Bank. He studied there and later became a clown and teacher.
Sakha says he will now go back to the circus to send a message as “Israel arrests people every day, and closes them off economically. The circus gives people hope.”
Palestinian rights groups claim there are currently roughly 6,200 Palestinians in Israeli prisons and 450 are in administrative detention.