Written statement* submitted by the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights,
a non-governmental organization in special consultative status
The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.
[31 August 2015]
* This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting nongovernmental organization(s).
End the use of administrative detention of Palestinian political prisoners in Israel*
Thank you Mr. Chairperson,
Mr. President, Distinguished members of the WGAD, Distinguished Delegates,
Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Adalah — The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel welcome the report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and their continued efforts to end arbitrary detention and the ensuing human rights violations around the world. We further welcome the Working Group's interventions on individual cases of arbitrary detention of Palestinian nationals held in Israeli prisons and detention centers.
We also welcome the report issued on 6 July 2015 which underlines that in international armed conflict, "Administrative detention or internment may only be permitted in the exceptional circumstance where a public emergency is invoked to justify such detention" (GA, A/HRC/30/37). Israel continues to systematically and arbitrarily use administrative detention against Palestinians based on secret evidence undisclosed to detainees and their attorneys. Today there are more than 400 Palestinian administrative detainees, held without charge or trial by Israel including 3 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Israel has further legislated the controversial force-feeding bill which allows the force-feeding of Palestinian prisoners and detainees who resort to hunger strike to peacefully protest administrative detention but also other human rights violations they face in Israeli prisons and detention centers.
Force-feeding has previously been rejected by several human rights bodies including the Human Rights Council and several of its Special Procedures including the Special Rapporteur on Torture, the World Medical Association as expressed in the Malta Declaration, the Israeli Medical Association and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Israeli High Court has formerly banned the use of force-feeding during the 1980s after its use against Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike resulted in multiple deaths. Two Palestinian prisoners died in July 1980 when the force-feeding procedure went wrong and the force-fed solution was inserted into the victim's lungs instead of their stomachs causing them to suffocate. Following the recent legislation, the Israeli Prison Service implied its intention to use force-feeding against Palestinian detainees on hunger strike on Mohammad Allan following 54 days of hunger strike in protest to his administrative detention. Israeli authorities later denied this and instead Mohammad Allan was treated based on the Israeli Patient's Rights Acts after he lost consciousness a few days later.
Currently there are five administrative detainees on hunger strike with dozens more likely to join in the coming few weeks. Over 50 Palestinian administrative detainees have also resorted to boycotting military court hearings in which their detention is renewed citing impartiality of the court and denying them a fair trial through the use of secret evidence.
We urge the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the respectable Human Rights Council and the distinguished delegates to take all action possible to end the use of administrative detention of Palestinian political prisoners and pressure Israeli authorities to revoke the force-feeding legislation. We further renew our call for the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to hold a country visit to the occupied Palestinian territory to better monitor the poor detention conditions and the flagrant human rights violations that Palestinian detainees face n Israeli prisons and detention centers. As of July 2015, more than 5700 Palestinians
prisoners and detainees remain in Israeli prisons and detention centers. Among them are 160 children under the age of 18 including 22 children aged 14 to 16.
Thank you for your time.
* Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, NGO without consultative status, also shares the views expressed in this statement.