Administrative Detainees Boycott the Occupation’s Military Courts
1 July 2015
Addameer’s lawyers report today that more than 60 administrative detainees held in Ofer, Naqab and Megiddo prisons will boycott the Israeli Occupation’s military courts in protest of the administrative detention policy and the false trials they are subjected to.
There are currently 401 administrative detainees held in the occupation’s prisons, including six Palestinian Legislative Council members. They are held based on secret information neither they nor their lawyers can review.
Addameer expresses its full support and solidarity with the administrative detainees and their demands and refusal of the arbitrary administrative detention policy. Addameer believes that the systematic use of administrative detention by the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) is a form of torture and a violation of the Geneva Convention IV Article (147), and is considered a crime against humanity according to Article (7) and a war crime according to Article (8) of Rome Statue.
Addameer demands that the occupying forces release all of the administrative detainees immediately and grant them their rights in accordance with international law. Addameer calls upon solidarity organizations, human rights organizations and individuals all around the world to join the campaign to end administrative detention while emphasizing the necessity of popular support for Palestinian prisoners and detainees.
The occupation forces holds false trials for the administrative detainees that lack the basic standards of fair trial. The trials’ procedures violate Article (66) of Geneva Convention IV which states that trials should be formed legally and should be held in the occupied territory, the trials also violate Article (71) which states that the private courts of the occupying power should not issue any sentence unless it was preceded by a legal trial.
The occupation forces also practice the administrative detention policy in violation of article (78) of Geneva Convention IV which states that administrative detention should not be implemented on people with immunity unless for imperative security reason and according to legal procedures defined by the occupying power and based on the fourth Geneva convention. The military courts deny administrative detainees from their right of fair trial and the basic guarantees stated in Article (75) of the first Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. Administrative detention policy also violates articles (9), (10), and (14) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966. The International Committee on Arbitrary Detention considered administrative detention as a form of physiological torture.
Administrative detention is a policy practiced by the occupation forces to detain Palestinian civilians without a charge or trial while denying the detainee and his/her lawyer from knowing the reasons for detention or building an effective defense. Administrative detention orders can be renewed indefinitely.
Currently, Palestinians in the West Bank are being held under administrative detention based on Military Order (1651) Article (285). Palestinians from Jerusalem are being held under administrative detention based on an order issued by the Israeli Defense Minister in accordance with Article (2) of the 1979 Emergency Law to maintain the “security of the state”, which allows the issuance of an administrative detention order for six months that can be renewed indefinitely. As for Palestinians from Gaza, they are being held under administrative detention based on Military Order (941) of 1988. Currently, the Illegal Combatants Law which was approved by the Knesset in March 2002 is used to hold Palestinians that live in Gaza under administrative detention indefinitely.
The Palestinian prisoners’ movement has been fighting against the policy of administrative detention for decades, which includes boycotting military courts and hunger strikes on the individual and collective levels. Between 2011 and 2015, dozens of administrative detainees launched an open hunger strike against the policy of administrative detention. On 26 April 2014, more than 130 administrative detainees endured a 62-day mass hunger strike which was followed by a series of punitive measures by the Israeli Prison Service, including exorbitant fines, denial of family visits and solitary confinement. On 18 May 2014, the Israeli Ministerial Committee also ratified a draft law to allow for the force-feeding of hunger strikers.
The IOF have issued more than 50,000 administrative detention orders against Palestinians since 1967, including 24,000 orders that were issued after the second Intifada. During the first Intifada in 1989, the number of administrative detainees reached more than 1,700 detainees.