480 Administrative Detainees to Boycott “Unjust, Sham” Israeli Courts

HEBRON, July 20, 2015 (WAFA) – Minister of detainees and ex-detainees affairs committee, Issa Qaraqe Monday announced that the campaign to boycott Israeli Administrative detention courts by Palestinian prisoners, who have been detained without charges or trail, will expand by early August with 480 prisoners refusing to appear before the court.

The prisoners decided to join this campaign, which began early July, because they firmly believe that these courts are “deceptive and do not adhere to fair trials’ standards.”

Qaraqe clarified, during a visit to the family of prisoner Ayman al-Za’aqiq from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron that 60 prisoners have joined this campaign starting early July.

He emphasized that the “Administrative detention battle” is in need of immediate international support, describing this form of detention as “arbitrary, contradictory of the Geneva Conventions while uses collective punishment against the prisoners.”

According to B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, “Administrative detention is implemented solely on the basis of an administrative order, without either indictment or trial.”

It explained, “Under certain circumstances, this type of detention may be lawful. However, due to the substantial injury to due process inherent in this measure, international law stipulates that it may be exercised only in very exceptional cases – and then only as a last possible resort, when there are no other means available to prevent the danger.”

However in the case of Palestinian prisoners, Israel routinely employs administrative detention making it a systematic procedure rather exceptional. Very recently in July 13, the Israeli authorities issued administrative detention orders against 15 Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC).

B’Tselem statistics showed that in January 2015, a total of 455 Palestinian prisoners were held under administrative detention without indictment or trial.

As Qaraqe explained, tens of Palestinian prisoners who were detained without charges or trail spent more than ten years in jail without receiving a fair trial or even knowing the charges filed against them.

For instance, Al-Za’aqiq, 36, has been imprisoned for 11 years in total. He spent seven years under administrative detention and had his detention renewed three times. Al-Za’aqiq is a father to three children and suffers from severe health complications, including right kidney failure.

Qaraqe reported on Al- Za’aqiq family saying, Ayman needs urgent medical tests and close medical care as well as a surgery to remove lift kidney stones.

He noted that Israel follows a deliberate policy of medical negligence and refrains from providing prisoners with the necessary medical care, leading to a severe deteriorating in prisoners’ health.

“The Israeli occupation, since 1967, has caused numerous catastrophes and tragedies to the prisoners and their families,” pointed Qaraqe .

He described the Israeli prisons as a “tool for slow death”, noting that there are 1,500 complex and dangerous medical cases and 25 prisoners with terminal diseases such as, cancer, paralysis and disability.

He added that a total of 110 prisoners have died in Israeli prisoners since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1968, 71 of whom were killed because of the deliberate policy of medical negligence.