Amnesty International has slammed Israel’s detention without charge or trial of a high-profile French-Palestinian human rights worker, who has been locked up without “a shred of evidence”.
On 17 September, Salah Hamouri, a field researcher for Palestinian prisoner rights NGO Addameer, had his six-month administrative detention order confirmed in court. The order is dated from his arrest and will end on 22 February 2018.
Administrative detention orders can last a maximum of six months, but can be renewed indefinitely at the discretion of the Israeli occupation authorities.
Responding to news of the court-approved detention order, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Magdalena Mughrabi, said: “The arbitrary detention of Salah Hamouri is yet another shameful example of the Israeli authorities’ abusive use of administrative detention to detain suspects indefinitely without charge or trial.”
For 50 years, Israel has relied upon administrative detention to suppress peaceful dissent and as a substitute for proper criminal prosecution. Now they appear to be using it to target human rights activists. They must take urgent steps to end this cruel practice once and for all.
Hamouri is the second Addameer staff member to be held in administrative detention, Amnesty notes, with the NGO’s media coordinator Hasan Safadi similarly detained since 10 June 2016. In addition, five staff members from the organisation are banned from travelling abroad.
“We believe that Salah’s imprisonment is an attempt at punishing him for his activism and human rights work,” Addameer said. “It represents but one part of the occupation’s continued attempts to stifle the Palestinian people’s legitimate struggle for human rights, autonomy, and basic dignity.”