Administrative Detention of 62-Year-Old University Lecturer Upheld

RAMALLAH, May 23, 2013 (WAFA) – An Israeli military court at Ofer prison, near Ramallah, upheld Thursday the administrative detention order against 62-year-old university lecturer Ahmad Qatamesh in spite of unconvincing evidence, according to Jawad Boulus, director of the legal department in the Prisoner Club.

He said in a statement issued by the Club that the military judge said the “secret” evidence presented by the security services against Qatamesh were not convincing and that they actually rebuff the prosecutor’s claims regarding the dangers posed by the defendant.

Yet, he added, and in spite of these remarks, the judge ruled to uphold the administrative detention ruling against Qatamesh, who was arrested two years ago and placed in administrative detention without charge or trial since then. Qatamesh will stay in prison until August 28.

The judge ruled that the military prosecutor will not have the right to extend Qatamesh’s detention past this date unless he presents hard evidence that would justify extending his detention.

Boulus said he has appealed this ruling to the Ofer Military Appeals court.

Amnesty International called last month for the immediate release of Qatamesh, whom it considered a prisoner of conscience.

“Ahmed Qatamesh is a prisoner of conscience who is being detained solely for expressing non-violent political beliefs,” said Amnesty International’s Ann Harrison, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program, in a statement AI issued on April 25 after the military court had sentenced Qatamesh for four months in administrative detention, his sixth since his arrest.

“His continued detention is arbitrary and he must be immediately and unconditionally released,” she said.

Israel is holding 178 Palestinians in the internationally-condemned administrative detention, according to AI’s 2013 annual report.

Source: WAFA News