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Amnesty slams Israel’s detention of Palestinian human rights defender

December 21, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Amnesty International has slammed the renewed detention by Israeli occupation authorities of Palestinian “human rights defender” Hasan Safadi.

Safadi, 25, has already been held without charge or trial (so-called administrative detention) for more than six months. On 7 December, his detention was renewed for an additional six months.

A Palestinian resident of occupied East Jerusalem, Safadi is a media coordinator for prisoners’ rights group Addameer.

He was first arrested by Israeli forces on 1 May of this year, crossing between Jordan and the occupied West Bank, as he returned from a conference in Lebanon on justice and accountability issues and prisoners’ rights.

Safadi was interrogated for 40 days after his arrest, and subjected to sleep deprivation and other forms of torture. He was also denied access to a lawyer for 10 days.

As with all cases of administrative detention, the “evidence” against Safadi is secret, neither he nor his lawyer is allowed to review it. Safadi is held in Ketziot prison in the Negev.

Amnesty International says it “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 and association.”

In addition, Amnesty International said it “has documented an escalation of acts of intimidation by the Israeli government against human rights defenders” in the occupied Palestinian territory.

“Israel has also taken steps to curtail freedom of expression inside Israel with officials using intimidation to target human rights defenders,” the organisation added.