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Startseite Urgent Actions 2017 10 NGO worker in administrative detention
UA 226/17
Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories
Abgeschlossen am 13. November 2017

NGO worker in administrative detention

AI-Index: MDE 15/7211/2017

French-Palestinian NGO worker Salah Hammouri has been issued a six-month administrative detention order. He is a field researcher for Palestinian NGO, Addameer and has been held by Israel without charge or trial since 23 August.

On 17 September, an Israeli District Court in Jerusalem confirmed the original six-month administrative detention order signed by Minister of Defence, Avigdor Lieberman, for Salah Hammouri, 32. He continues to be held inside Israel in Ketziot prison.

Israeli border police detained Salah Hammouri during an overnight raid on 23 August at his home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Kafr Aqab. The Israeli Minister of Defence then issued a six-month administrative detention order against Salah Hammouri. On 5 September, the day of the order's confirmation hearing, the Jerusalem District Court decided to instead reinstate Salah Hammouri’s remaining time on a previous sentence for a conviction from 2005, under which he would serve three months in prison, a decision that was appealed by the prosecution. On 13 September Israel’s High Court ruled in favour of the prosecution’s appeal against reinstating the sentence. And on 17 September the Israeli District Court confirmed the initial six-month administrative detention order.

Salah Hammouri is a French national and a resident of East Jerusalem. He works as a field researcher in Jerusalem for Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a Palestinian human rights organization based in Ramallah. Salah Hammouri is the second Addameer staff member to be held in administrative detention, as the organization’s Media Coordinator, Hasan Safadi, has been detained since 10 June 2016 without charge or trial. An additional five staff members from the organization are banned by the Israeli authorities from travelling outside Israel and Palestine. Addameer’s board member Khalida Jarrar has also been held in administrative detention since 2 July 2017.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Salah Hammouri was detained during an overnight raid on 23 August at his home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Kafr Aqab. He was then transferred the Israel Security Agency (ISA) interrogation centre in Jerusalem, within the Russian Compound detention centre, where his detention was extended.

Israeli authorities formerly imprisoned Salah Hammouri for seven years, and released him as part of a prisoner exchange deal in 2011. The Israeli authorities banned the East Jerusalem resident from entering the occupied West Bank until September 2016, and have also banned his wife, a French national, from entering the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) or Israel since 2016. In February 2016, Salah Hammouri’s wife was deported from Israel after being detained for three days at a detention centre near Ben Gurion airport. Salah Hammouri’s family, including his wife, child, and father in-law, have been harassed and threatened by unknown people, after a French website published all of their contact details.

Administrative detention – ostensibly introduced as an exceptional measure to detain people who pose an extreme and imminent danger to security – is used by Israel as an alternative to arresting, charging and prosecuting people suspected of criminal offences, or to detain people who should not have been arrested at all. Orders can be renewed indefinitely and evidence is kept secret, meaning that detainees are not able to effectively challenge their detention and do not know when they will be released. Amnesty International believes that some Palestinians held in administrative detention by Israel are prisoners of conscience, held solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression, assembly or association. Since October 2015, violence in Israel and the OPT has increased dramatically. As during other periods of heightened tension in the OPT, the Israeli authorities responded by carrying out mass arrests, and issuing more and more administrative detention orders, including a resumption of its use against children. According to the Israeli human rights organization Hamoked, as of September 2017, there were 477 administrative detainees held without charge or trial by Israel.

All but one of the Israeli prisons holding Palestinian administrative detainees is located inside Israel. The detention of Palestinians from the OPT inside Israel violates international law. The Fourth Geneva Convention stipulates that detainees from occupied territories must be held in the occupied territory, not in the territory of the occupying power.

Amnesty International has documented an escalation of acts of intimidation by the Israeli government against human rights activists in the OPT. Israel has also taken steps to curtail freedom of expression inside Israel with officials using intimidation and smear campaigns to target human rights organizations and their staff.

Name: Salah Hammouri (m), Hasan Safadi (m), Khalida Jarrar (f), and other Addameer staff members (m)

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