Monday, July 6, 2015
Administrative Detention

1 July 2015, Occupied Ramallah – Addameer’s lawyers report today that more than 60 administrative detainees held in Ofer, Naqab and Megiddo prisons will boycott the Israeli Occupation’s military courts in protest of the administrative detention policy and the false trials they are subjected to.

There are currently 401 administrative detainees held in the occupation’s prisons, including six Palestinian Legislative Council members. They are held based on secret information neither they nor their lawyers can review.

Addameer expresses its full support and solidarity with the administrative detainees and their demands and refusal of the arbitrary administrative detention policy. Addameer believes that the systematic use of administrative detention by the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) is a form of torture and a violation of the Geneva Convention IV Article (147), and is considered a crime against humanity according to Article (7) and a war crime according to Article (8) of Rome Statue.

Addameer demands that the occupying forces release all of the administrative detainees immediately and grant them their rights in accordance with international law. Addameer calls upon solidarity organizations, human rights organizations and individuals all around the world to join the campaign to end administrative detention while emphasizing the necessity of popular support for Palestinian prisoners and detainees.

The occupation forces holds false trials for  the administrative detainees that lack the basic standards of fair trial. The trials’ procedures violate Article (66) of Geneva Convention IV which states that trials should be formed legally and should be held in the occupied territory, the trials also violate Article (71) which states that the private courts of the occupying power should not issue any sentence unless it was preceded by a legal trial.

The occupation forces also practice the administrative detention policy in violation of article (78) of Geneva Convention IV which states that administrative detention should not be implemented on people with immunity unless for imperative security reason and according to legal procedures defined by the occupying power and based on the fourth Geneva convention. The military courts deny administrative detainees from their right of fair trial and the basic guarantees stated in Article (75) of the first Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. Administrative detention policy also violates articles (9), (10), and (14) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966. The International Committee on Arbitrary Detention considered administrative detention as a form of physiological torture.

Administrative detention is a policy practiced by the occupation forces to detain Palestinian civilians without a charge or trial while denying the detainee and his/her lawyer from knowing the reasons for detention or building an effective defense.  Administrative detention orders can be renewed indefinitely.

Currently, Palestinians in the West Bank are being held under administrative detention based on Military Order (1651) Article (285). Palestinians from Jerusalem are being held under administrative detention based on an order issued by the Israeli Defense Minister in accordance with Article (2) of the 1979 Emergency Law to maintain the “security of the state”, which allows the issuance of an administrative detention order for six months that can be renewed indefinitely. As for Palestinians from Gaza, they are being held under administrative detention based on Military Order (941) of 1988. Currently, the Illegal Combatants Law which was approved by the Knesset in March 2002 is used to hold Palestinians that live in Gaza under administrative detention indefinitely.

The Palestinian prisoners’ movement has been fighting against the policy of administrative detention for decades, which includes boycotting military courts and hunger strikes on the individual and collective levels. Between 2011 and 2015, dozens of administrative detainees launched an open hunger strike against the policy of administrative detention. On 26 April 2014, more than 130 administrative detainees endured a 62-day mass hunger strike which was followed by a series of punitive measures by the Israeli Prison Service, including exorbitant fines, denial of family visits and solitary confinement. On 18 May 2014, the Israeli Ministerial Committee also ratified a draft law to allow for the force-feeding of hunger strikers.

The IOF have issued more than 50,000 administrative detention orders against Palestinians since 1967, including 24,000 orders that were issued after the second Intifada. During the first Intifada in 1989, the number of administrative detainees reached more than 1,700 detainees.

Israeli military occupation authorities issued administrative detention orders for imprisonment without charge or trial against 41 Palestinian prisoners, including 26 Palestinians from Hebron district on Tuesday, April 21, according to the Palestine Prisoners’ Society. These followed on 5 prisoners sent to administrative detention on Sunday, April 19.

The detainees were sentenced for a period ranging between two months and six months, with twelve of the detainees receiving detention orders without charge or trial for the first time, whereas the remaining 29 detainees had their administrative detention sentence renewed for the second or third time.

Administrative detention is the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial and on the basis of secret evidence for up to six month periods, indefinitely renewable by Israeli military courts.

The use of administrative detention dates from the “emergency laws” of the British colonial era in Palestine. Israel’s use of administrative detention violates international law; such detention is allowed only in individual circumstances that are exceptionally compelling for “imperative reasons of security.”

There are around 500 detainees serving administrative detention in several Israeli jails, including Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar who has been recently sentenced to 6 months of administrative detention, and 8 other PLC members.

WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency has provided the names of the 41 detainees who received administrative detention orders:

1. Mahmoud Fasfous, of Hebron, 4 months
2. Abdullah Sha’aban, of Jenin, 4 months
3. Amir Shammas, of Hebron, 4 months.
4. Nour Dudin, of Hebron, 4 months
5. Bajes Swaiti, of Hebron, 4 months
6. Raed al-Amla, of Hebron, 6 months
7. Murad Shqaiqat, of Jenin, 4 months
8. Mustafa Braija, of Bethlehem, 6 months
9. Muhammad al-Habal, of Tubas, 4 months
10. Ahmad al-Qiq, of Hebron, 3 monhts
11. Hasan Shihada, of Abu Dis, 4 months
12. Tareq Hamed, of Ramallah, 4 months
13. Suhaib Jidan, of Ramallah, 4 months
14. Ayman Za’aqiq, of Hebron, 6 months
15. Nour Jaffal, of Abu Dis, 4 months
16. Nedal al-Boum, of Nablus, 6 months
17. Muhammad Abu Ras, of Hebron, 6 months
18. Said al-Asafra, of Hebron, 5 months
19. Sufian al-Wahaddin, of Hebron, 4 months
20. Fawzi Talahma, of Hebron, 6 months
21. Issa Awawda, of Hebron, 4 months
22. Bashar Da’na, of Hebron, 6 months
23. Anas Dweik, of Hebron, 6 months
24. Ismail Slaibi, of Hebron, 6 months
25. Ala’a Za’aqiq, of Hebron, 6 months
26. Abdul-Qader Sharawna, of Hebron, 4 months
27. Nedal Jaber, of Qalqilya, 6 months
28. Munther Abu Atwan, of Hebron, 4 months
29. Firas Masalama, of Hebron, 4 months
30. Abdullah Bani Odeh, of Nablus, 4 months
31. Arqam Ahmaro, of Hebron, 3 months
32. Muhammad al-Khatib, of Hebron, 4 months
33. Imad Isma’il, of Ramallah, 4 months
34. Shaher Abu Ghalyoun, of Hebron, 4 months
35. Ahmad Huraimi, of Bethlehem, 4 months
36. Mustafa Shawer, of Hebron, 2 months
37. Mahmoud Ayyash, of Ramallah, 4 months
38. As’ad Imam, of Hebron, 4 months
39. Raed Sharbati, of Hebron, 4 months
40. Muhammad Abu Ghalya, of Jerusalem, 5 months
41. Tamer Qawasmah, of Hebron, 4 months

These 41 orders followed 5 more issued on Sunday, April 19 from the military court at Ofer:

1. Abd al-Rahman Hammad, of Qalandia refugee camp, 6 monhts
2. Osama Ida’is, of Hebron, 6 months
3. Joma’a al-Jojo, of Bethlehem, 4 months
4. Ahmad al-Hrimi, of Bethlehem, 4 months
5. Ahmad al-Rai, of Qalqilia, 2 months

319 orders for administrative detention without charge or trial have been issued by Israeli occupation military courts since the beginning of 2015, reported Riyad al-Ashqar, spokesperson of the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies.

This is an increase of 500% over the same period in 2014, when 51 orders were issued, and is linked to the wide-scale mass arrests in the West Bank in June 2014 and after; hundreds of those arrested were not charged or tried but instead ordered to administrative detention.

45 of the administrative detention orders issued in 2015 have been for newly arrested Palestinian political prisoners, while 274 administrative detention renewal orders have been issued by Israeli military courts in the same period. These orders have ranged in duration from two to six months.

In January 109 administrative detention orders were issued; 89 in February; and 121 in March. Of these, Ashqar reported, 133 of those detained were from Hebron (al-Khalil), the largest single group. There are currently approximately 500 Palestinian prisoners held in administrative detention.

Administrative detention is the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial and on the basis of secret evidence for up to six month periods, indefinitely renewable by Israeli military courts. The use of administrative detention dates from the “emergency laws” of the British colonial era in Palestine. Israel’s use of administrative detention violates international law; such detention is allowed only in individual circumstances that are exceptionally compelling for “imperative reasons of security.” In Palestine, however, Israel uses administrative detention routinely as a form of collective punishment and mass detention of Palestinians, and frequently uses administrative detention when it fails to obtain confessions in interrogations of Palestinian detainees.

Hundreds of Palestinian detainees engaged in a hunger strike in May-June 2014, demanding the end of administrative detention.

ayman-altabeeshAmong those recently issued new administrative detention orders is Ayman al-Tabeesh, 34, from Dura village near Hebron, for a three-month period. This is the sixth administrative detention order that has been issued against al-Tabeesh, all without charge or trial and on the basis of secret evidence. He was arrested on May 9, 2013 and entered an open-ended hunger strike for 105 days that ended with a pledge to not renew his administrative detention, and that he would be released in January 2014.

However, the occupation military courts renewed his detention without charge or trial, provoking a new open hunger strike for 123 days, which ended with a commitment to once again not renew his detention and release him on January 5, 2015; once again, however, the commitment was broken by the occupation military courts and his detention renewed for the fifth time for a three-month period, with a promise to release him after that detention.

However, on April 3, once again his detention was renewed. He has spent over 10 years in total in Israeli prisons, mostly in administrative detention.

Abdel-Alim Da'na, for the Electronic Intifada
Abdel-Alim Da'na, for the Electronic Intifada
Abdel-Alim Da’na, for the Electronic Intifada

Abdel-Alim Da’na, Palestinian political leader and professor, has joined his son in administrative detention, held without charge or trial on secret evidence. Da’na was among 13 prisoners issued administrative detention orders in the first week of December and one of 6 from Hebron. Click here to take action to demand Da’na’s release.

Bashar Da’na has been held in administrative detention without charge or trial. Abdel-Alim Da’na, 65, suffers from several diseases, including high blood pressure and diabetes.

Palestinian journalist Mohammed Mona‘s detention without charge or trial was also renewed for the fourth time in this group of administrative detention orders. He has been held without charge or trial since 7 August 2013 and previously spent over 5 years in occupation prisons. Mona reports for Al-Quds Press.

Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable for periods of up to six months at one time. The 13 Palestinian political prisoners ordered to administrative detention in the first week of December are:

1. Abdel-Alim Da’na – Hebron – 3 months
2. Mohammed Aslan Harb – Qalandia refugee camp – 4 months
3. Qassem Hijazi Salem – Hebron – 4 months
4. Nimer Bassam Damaj – Jenin – 3 months
5. Omar Ibrahim Khatib – Hebron – 3 months
6. Bassam AbdulRahim Hammad – Ramallah – 4 months
7. Bashir Khaled Rajabi – Hebron – 6 months
8. Shadi Mahmoud Kufaisheh – Hebron – 3 months
9. Sajid Hassan al-Luqta – Hebron – 4 months
10. Mohammed Anwar Mona – Nablus – 4 months
11. Falah Tahir Nada – el-Bireh – 2 months
12. Raed Ali Shehadeh – Ramallah – 4 months
13. Khalil Musa Zawahra – Bethlehem – 4 months

farouk-ashourThe Israeli army arrested Hebron city council member Dr. Faruk A’shur on October 8, later placing him in administrative detention for three months, reported the Alternative Information Center.:

An optician, A’shur is a leading activist in local committees promoting the boycott of Israeli products by Palestinians in Hebron and the West Bank more generally. A’shur is also renowned for his selfless efforts to provide the best possible services to residents of the poor and marginalised neighbourhoods of Hebron, particularly those exposed to ongoing settler violence and Israeli military attacks. These efforts are particularly crucial in assisting families in these areas to remain steadfast in their homes despite the enormous difficulties of daily life there.

The Hebron Defense Committee, a coalition of social movements and political parties acting to defend Hebron and its residents against Israeli colonial policies and practices, has called for A’shur’s immediate release, as well as the release of all 6,500 Palestinian political prisoners.

In addition to issuing an administrative detention order against A’shur, in the last few days Israeli authorities have issued an additional 41 administrative detention orders for periods between two to six months. These orders are both news, as in the case of A’shur, and extensions of previously existing orders. Over 480 Palestinians are currently held in administrative detention, imprisonment without charges or trial.

The Hebron Municipality denounced the occupation authorities’ sentencing of a member of its municipal council to administrative detention. A’shur was arrested at a flying checkpoint on the road to Jericho after meeting his father coming from the Karama border crossing.

There are now well over 500 Palestinians held in administrative detention without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence, reported the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club.

On Sunday, October 12, occupation authorities issued administrative detention orders (both first-time orders and renewals) against 40 Palestinian detainees for periods of 3-6 months. These administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable after they expire. There have been 83 administrative detention orders issued in the month of October.

Three of the administrative detainees: Azzam Salhab, Fadel Hamdan and Omar Matar, are elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. There are currently 29 members of PLC held in Israeli jails, 22 of them in administrative detention.

Palestinian MP Mohammed Bader
Palestinian MP Mohammed Bader
Palestinian MP Mohammed Bader

Occupation military courts renewed the administrative detention of Palestinian Legislative Council member Mohammed Bader for an additional six months on August 23. He was arrested in October 2013 and has spent over 10 years in occupation prisons through various arrests. This is the third time his detention without charge or trial has been renewed by occupation military courts. Bader is one of 36 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council currently imprisoned in Israeli occupation prisons.

thaerhalahleh
Thaer Halahleh

Thaer Halahleh, former administrative detainee released after a long-term hunger strike until his recent re-arrest on August 19, was one of four Palestinians ordered to administrative detention on August 24 by occupation military courts without charge or trial. Halahleh, Mohammed Tal, and Suleiman Battat were ordered to six months detention each, while Thaer Abu Rmouz was ordered to four months detention.

In addition, the Palestinian Prisoners Society reported that the Ofer military court issued ten administrative detention orders on August 23. Since June 2014, the use of administrative detention has more than doubled and there are now over 470 Palestinians held without charge or trial under administrative detention orders in Israeli jails. Said Abu Tahoun, Hani al-Hawarin, Mohammed Harizat, Samer Jaradat and Bashir Omreh were given six-month detention orders.

Mahmoud Hroub, Yousef Walwil and Hamdi Abu Zeid were issued four-month detention orders. Ahmed Ibrahim was sentenced to a two-month detention order and Hashim Ibrahim to one month.

yaish
Bahauddin Fathi Yaish

All of these administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable and issued on the basis of secret evidence.

In addition, occupation authorities cancelled their previously expressed decision to end the administrative detention of Bahauddin Fathi Yaish, 54, of Nablus, and instead extended his detention for an additional 55 days. He has been detained without charge or trial since March 2013, and his detention has been repeatedly extended. He was scheduled for release on Tuesday, August 26, but now is held once more without charge or trial. Yaish is suffering from multiple diseases, including arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure, and is in poor health.

halahleh14 Palestinians, including former prisoner Thaer Halahleh, were arrested by Israeli occupation forces in raids throughout the West Bank late Monday night and early Tuesday morning, August 18 and 19. Halahleh, a former long-term hunger striker who also contracted hepatitis during prison dental surgery, had been released in May. He has spent over 9 years in occupation prisons, frequently in administrative detention without charge or trial.

Halahleh, 35, was one of four Palestinians arrested from al-Khalil area (Firas Oweiwi, Ahmad Oweiwi, Mohammed Jamal, Thaer Halahleh), 4 from Nablus (Ruslan Adali, Ahmad Adili, Musa al-Hindi, Ahmad Doghlass), 4 from Deir Estia near Salfit (Firas Fares, Fouad Diab, Yasser Awad, Ala’a Shaaban) and one from Burqin (Hani Ghanem) and another from Husan (Mohammd Adel Hamamrah).

One of the 62 Palestinian former prisoners released in the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange, Othman Musleh of Salfit, was released on Sunday, August 17. The occupation declined to renew its arrest of Musleh, unlike the other 61, who have been rounded up systematically since June.

monaDetained Palestinian journalist Mohammad Mona‘s detention without charge or trial was renewed by Ofer military court for four months late on Thursday, August 14. Mona has been held without charge or trial under administrative detention since August 7, 2013; this is the third time his administrative detention has been renewed.

Mona was taken from his home in Nablus as occupation forces ransacked his belongings and confiscated his belongings. He previously spent over 5 years in occupation prisons in several periods of detention. Mona reports for Al-Quds Press.

No charges have been presented against him, and he is being held allegedly on the basis of secret evidence. Al Muhja foundation reported that there are 14 Palestinian journalists currently held in occupation prisons.

prisOn Monday, August 4, occupation military courts extended administrative detention for 13 Palestinian prisoners held without charge or trial, reported Ahrar Center for Human Rights.

Over 445 prisoners are now held without charge or trial under administrative detention, an increase since the middle of last June by 133%, said Riad al-Ashqar. Over 1900 Palestinians were arrested during the mass arrest campaign, including 27 members of Palestinian Legislative Council and 62 former prisoners re-arrested after being freed in the Wafa al-Ahrar exchange agreement.

Nearly 265 of them have been sentenced to administrative detention so far, including 17 PLC members, raising the number of administrative detainees to 445 from 180. Al-Ashqar noted that the number is likely to rise in coming days as a number of people are still being interrogated and dozens are expected to be sent to administrative detention without charge or trial.

This increase in administrative detention comes after the 62-day strike by administrative detainees demanding an end to this arbitrary practice, which targets Palestinian political leaders, student activists, labor activists, and community organizers. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joins the call to escalate the international campaign to end administrative detention even as the occupation is escalating its ongoing abuse of this policy of repression.