LONDON, June 6, 2012 (WAFA) – Amnesty International demanded Wednesday that Israel must either release all Palestinians held in Israel under administrative detention laws or charge and try them promptly and fairly.
A statement by Amnesty International on a report titled “Starved of justice: Palestinians detained without trial by Israel” documenting human rights violations associated with administrative detention, called on Israel “to stop using these measures to suppress the legitimate and peaceful activities of activists in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
The report said administrative detainees, like many other Palestinian prisoners, have been subjected to violations such as the use of torture and other ill-treatment during interrogation, as well as cruel and degrading treatment during their detention, sometimes as punishment for hunger strikes or other protests.
“These practices contravene Israel’s obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law,” said the statement. “Israel has a duty to uphold due process and fair trial rights, and to take effective action to end torture and other ill-treatment of detainees.”
“For decades, Amnesty International has urged Israel to end the practice of administrative detention and to release detainees or charge them with an internationally recognizable criminal offense and try them according to international standards,” said Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
As of the end of April of 2012 there were at least 308 Palestinian administrative detainees, among them 24 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), including its Speaker, Aziz Dweik, at least four journalists, in addition to university students and academic staff.
“Israel has used its system of administrative detention – intended as an exceptional measure against people posing an extreme and imminent danger to security – to trample on the human rights of detainees for decades. It is a relic that should be put out to pasture,” added Harrison.