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Administrative Detention: Justifying Human Rights Violation

Take Action: International campaign to call for ending ''Administrative Detention'' policy:


UFree Network launches an international campaign calling for an end to Israeli “Administrative Detention” policy which leaves hundreds of Palestinian political detainees held inside Israeli jails without charge or trial.

Although international law restricts the use of administrative detention, Israel is using it regularly in flagrant violation to article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that state prisoners should have a fair trial.

UFree Network said that Israeli “Administrative Detention” policy does not only violate international laws and Geneva conventions but it also breaches the Israeli law itself as it violates the conditions set to renew Palestinian administrative detainees' arrest.

Israeli “Administrative Detention” policy also violates the agreement signed in May 2012 between Israeli Prison Service and Palestinian political prisoners and detainees to limit administrative detention policy, but rather their number increased to reach over 200 prisoners.

UFree Chairman, Mohammad Hamdan, expressed his total support to Palestinian administrative detainees’ hunger strike and called on the European Parliament and European member states to pressure Israel to meet their legitimate demands topped by ending administrative detention policy.

Palestinian administrative detainees are deprived from family visits, placed in solitary confinement and in many ways discriminated. These conditions pushed hundreds of Palestinian administrative detainees to declare an open-ended hunger strike on Thursday 24th April 2014, demanding an end to their “Administrative Detention” as part of their protest steps declared in October last year.

Background:
Israeli jails are considered to be the toughest, most cruel and unliveable facilities for prisoners and detainees in the world. Human rights violations take dierent forms, including the denial of medical care, physical and psychological torture, inhumane treatment and humiliation. Human rights organisations, like Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, condemned Israel for its practices breaching international law. One of these practices is ‘administrative detention’, an integral feature of occupying powers and repressive regimes. The Israeli authorities use ‘administrative detention’ to suppress people seeking their freedom. Since the occupation of Palestine, thousands of Palestinians have been held in Israeli custody as administrative detainees for long periods of time.

What is administrative detention?
Administrative detention is the detention of an individual by the state and occupying power for a long period of time without trial. This law has also been titled ‘emergency law’. Dierent regimes, including democracies and occupying powers, use administrative detention and justify the use as a preventive action to assure security. In practice, the main motivating factor for Israel authorities to use administrative detention is to suppress opposition. Unlike criminals, who are charged and convicted, prisoners held under administrative detention are detained without accusations.

Scale:
Israeli occupation authorities regularly use the administrative detention law. In November 1989 a mass arrest of 1749 Palestinians took place, all of them were placed under administrative detention. The number of prisoners held under administrative detention uctuated over the years and reached over a thousand in the early years of the second Intifada in 2000. In 2011, the number of Palestinian detainees held under administrative detention was 219 and increased to 309 detainees in 2012, however in 2013, the number decreased to 198 Prisoners.

International law:
Although international law restricts the use of administrative detention, Israel is using it regularly. Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, state prisoners should have a fair trial. The arrest and deportation of prisoners and administrative detainees is a violation of Articles 49 and 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Impact:
The impact of administrative detention of prisoners is immense as they are deprived from family visits, placed in solitary connement and in many ways discriminated.
These conditions pushed more than 2000 prisoners on 17th April 2012 to start a mass hunger strike to end administrative detention policy, solitary connement and improving the living conditions in prisons. The strike lasted for 28 days where it ended after reaching an agreement to limit administrative detention policy, but rather their number increased to reach 200 prisoners. According to Palestinian Prisoners Society, 142 administrative detention orders were issued since the begining of 2014.
On Thursday 24th April, 200 Palestinian administrative detainees have started an open-ended hunger strike demanding an end to their administrative detention as part of their protest steps declared in October last year.

Palestinian political prisoners and detainees have threatened to declare on an open-ended hunger strike en masse in solidarity with their administrative fellows in case IPS does not meet all of their fair demands.

ENDS

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