#AceNewsServices – PRESS RELEASE – May 27 – Urgent Appeal to Pope Francis from Mothers & Wives of Palestinian Administrative Detainees
We, the mothers and wives of Palestinian administrative detainees in the Israeli occupation’s prisons, welcome you to occupied Palestine, and express our deep admiration of your personal humility and strong commitment to social justice. We consider you as the saviour of our sons and husbands who are jailed as administrative detainees, and suffering from injustice and persecution.
We, as mothers and wives, would like to express our deep concern for the lives of our sons and husbands who have been on hunger strike for more than four weeks to protest the policy of administrative detention. Our sons and husbands are suffering from grave health consequences as a result of their prolonged hunger strikes, as well as from cruel punishments perpetrated by Israeli prisons officials, including strip searches, solitary confinement, insults and humiliation during daily room raids, and denial of visits from their families and lawyers.
Israel has consistently violated its international obligations by arresting Palestinians without informing them for the reason of arrest, detaining them without charge, and denying them their right to a fair and public trial. Israel’s practice of detaining Palestinians from the occupied West Bank within Israeli borders violates articles 49 and 76 of the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit an occupying power from detaining members of the occupied population outside the occupied territory.
Israel exercises military law in the West Bank, which is used to hold Palestinians without charge or trial on the basis of evidence that is not accessible either to the detainees or their lawyers, a process called administrative detention. According to article 285, Israeli Military Order 1651, these administrative detention orders can be renewed indefinitely every one to six months.
In its concluding observations on Israel in 2010, the United Nations Human Rights Committee, which monitors state compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, criticized Israel’s “frequent and extensive use of administrative detention,” and called on Israel to “refrain from using [it]” and to “complete as soon as possible” a review of relevant legislation.
The laws of occupation, which Israel is bound to respect as the occupying power in the West Bank, permit the use of administrative detention only in exceptional circumstances. Article 78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides that an occupying power may legitimately order the detention of an individual only “for imperative reasons of security.” The International Committee of the Red Cross, in its “Commentary” to article 78, stresses that the “exceptional character” of such measures “must be preserved.” Israel is currently holding about 186 Palestinians as “administrative detainees” and has long used this measure to imprison Palestinians without trial.
Sarah Leah Whitson , Middle East director at Human Rights Watch stated “It is outrageous that Israel has locked these men up for months without either charging them with crimes or allowing them to see the evidence it says it has against them…The detainees evidently feel they have to put their lives in jeopardy through hunger strikes so that Israel will end these unlawful practices…Israel’s regular use of administrative detention, at the least, inverts international law and turns the exception into the norm, at the cost of the fundamental right to due process.”
We urgently need your blessed efforts to demand Israel immediately charge or release our sons and husbands who are detained without charge or trial. Israel has not charged any of them with any crime, and never allowed them to see or contest any evidence against them, instead placing them in administrative detention for renewed periods, which Israel contends is a preventive rather than punitive form of detention.
Israel should be forced to respect International Humanitarian Law, by the brave and honest leaders in the world, such as you. We need your help, in ending the policy of administrative detention forever, as this unlawful practice affects the detainees and their families and children negatively and severely.
Thank you for your vital role in revealing the truth on the ground to the world, and for your continuous efforts, which will contribute in achieving justice, and peace in the world, and especially to the oppressed Palestinian people.
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1.Courtesy of: Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association – ADDMEER – http://tinyurl.com/o6936nb
2 Contributions of:Human Rights Watch – 24/02/2013 – http://tinyurl.com/aw3aapy