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Abgeschlossen am 17. April 2015

Parliamentarian detained without charge

AI-Index: MDE 15/1405/2015

Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar has been given a six-month administrative detention order. She has chronic health problems, and now faces indefinite detention without charge or trial, after defying an Israeli order to ban her from her city.

Israeli forces arrested 52-year-old Khalida Jarrar at 1.30am on 2 April 2015, at her home in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. They interrogated her for over four hours in Israel’s Ofer detention centre in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), before transferring her to HaSharon Prison in Israel. Her lawyer told the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz that her detention order was signed on the day of her arrest, suggesting it had been prepared in advance. Khalida Jarrar has suffered a series of strokes and has high blood cholesterol; she needs medication and blood tests every few days for her condition.

An outspoken and active critic of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, Khalida Jarrar defied a six-month military order to forcibly transfer her from Ramallah to Jericho based on «secret evidence» in August 2014. In February 2015, she was appointed to the Palestinian Higher National Committee to Follow Up with the International Criminal Court (ICC), formed by President Abbas following Palestine’s signature of the Rome Statute of the ICC on 31 December 2014. She is vice chair of the board of Palestinian human rights organization Addameer (which advocates for the rights of Palestinian prisoners), and was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006.

The Israeli military withhold most evidence against administrative detainees, claiming this is for security reasons. On 8 April a military judge adjourned a review of Khalida Jarrar’s detention until 14 April to allow the defence to see some of the evidence against her, including footage of her at demonstrations. Israeli military law in the OPT allows for the prosecution of Palestinian demonstrators participating in any assembly deemed to be «political» and requires permission from the military commander for gathering of more than 10 people. The prosecution said they would not charge Khalida Jarrar since it would make her eligible for bail, indicating that that her detention is a punishment for her political activism. Her detention order can be renewed indefinitely.


Khalida Jarrar has been subjected to decades of harassment and intimidation by the Israeli authorities, who have declared her a security risk without ever charging her with any criminal offence. In August 2014, the head of the Israeli military’s Central Command gave her a six-month «Special Supervision Order» based on unspecified «serious security reasons that necessitate the … order to protect the security of the area», requiring her to leave her home in Ramallah and confining her to Jericho unless she received «special permission» from the military authorities. No further details concerning the information against her were made available to enable her to challenge the decision judicially. She defied the order, establishing herself in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) compound, where she remained until 16 September, when the order was reduced to one month.
Dozens of Israeli soldiers surrounded Khalida Jarrar’s house on 2 April 2015. They searched it and confiscated two laptops and a cell phone. They took her to an Israeli settlement, Beit El, and from there to an Israeli military base near Jaba’ in Jerusalem.  At around 7.30am she was transferred to Ofer detention centre, near Ramallah, and interrogated, after which she was taken to HaSharon Prison in Israel. The Palestinian Ma’an News Agency quoted an Israeli military spokeswoman as saying she had been detained for being the leader of a «terrorist organization», and encouraging «terror activities». On 8 April, a review hearing of her detention order was adjourned for one week to allow her defence team time to study the evidence against her. The prosecution’s file also contained secret evidence which neither she nor her lawyers have been permitted to see. The military judge reviewing her detention can decide to uphold, shorten or lift the order.
The Israeli military imposed a travel ban on Khalida Jarrar for «security» reasons in 1998. They have never provided any information or explanation to her or her lawyer about any information on which they based their assessment. In 2010 she fought for months to obtain permission to travel to Jordan for diagnostic treatment on her brain, not available in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). She has been prevented from travelling abroad to attend human rights events. On 7 February 2015, she was appointed to the Higher National Committee to Follow Up with the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was established on orders of Palestinian President Abbas after his government acceded to the Rome Statute of the ICC. In January 2015, Palestine submitted a declaration accepting ICC jurisdiction over crimes committed in the OPT since 13 June 2014, which includes the most recent Israel/Gaza conflict in July and August 2014, in which more than 1,500 Palestinian civilians in Gaza were killed and six civilians killed in Israel. Israel retaliated against Palestine’s declaration in January 2015, by suspending payments of tax revenues due to the Palestinian authorities of around US$127 million each month. Despite an Israeli announcement transferring some of the money due, the dispute between the Israeli and Palestinian authorities over the funds has continued.
Administrative detention – ostensibly introduced as an exceptional measure to detain people who pose an extreme and imminent danger to security – has for years been used by Israel to detain a much wider range of people who should have been arrested, charged and tried in accordance with the normal laws of penal procedure, or against individuals who should not have been arrested at all. Orders can be renewed indefinitely and Amnesty International believes that some Palestinians held in administrative detention by Israel are prisoners of conscience, held solely for the non-violent exercise of their right to freedom of expression and association. Israel is holding some 14 PLC members, eight of them under administrative detention orders. The number of administrative detainees has increased significantly since May 2014, to a high of over 470 in August 2014, with 424 being held at the end of February 2015, according to the Israeli NGO B’Tselem. According to the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, Israel issued 319 administrative detention orders against Palestinians in 2015 alone.

Name: Khalida Jarrar

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