JERUSALEM, January 27, 2016 (WAFA) – The European Union’s missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed on Wednesday their longstanding concern about Israel’s extensive use of administrative detention without formal charge against Palestinians.
“Beyond the well-known cases of Etraf Rimawi of the Palestinian Bisan Center for Research and Development, and Mohammed Abu Sakha, a trainer at the Palestinian Circus School, there are over 500 Palestinians, amongst them at least 4 minors, who are currently being held in administrative detention,” the EU mission said in press release.
The mission said it was especially concerned about the deteriorating health condition of journalist Mohammed Al-Qiq, held in administrative detention in Israel for more than two months now, and on hunger strike since 25 November 2015.
“The EU calls for the full respect of international human rights obligations towards all prisoners. Detainees have the right to be informed about the charges underlying any detention, must be granted access to legal assistance, and be subject to a fair trial.”
Multiple human rights groups have accused Israel of using administrative detention as a form of collective punishment and mass detention of Palestinians, and that Israeli authorities use this kind of detention when they fail to obtain confessions in interrogations of Palestinian detainees.
Israeli officials claim the practice is an essential tool in preventing attacks and protecting sensitive intelligence, but it has been strongly criticized by the international community as well as by both Israeli and Palestinian rights groups.
The Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, said international law stipulates that administrative detention may be exercised only in very exceptional cases. Nevertheless, Israeli authorities routinely employ administrative detention on thousands of Palestinians.