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UK criticises Israel's 'extensive use' of detention without charge

Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian youth on 23 October 2010 [Najeh Hashlamoun/Apaimages]
Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian youth [Najeh Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

The British government has criticised the Israeli authorities' "extensive use" of administrative detention, a practice that sees hundreds of Palestinians locked up without charge or trial.

In response to a written question, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, said the UK government "remain[s] concerned about Israel's extensive use of administrative detention".

According to international law, Lord Ahmad continued, the practice "should be used only when security makes this absolutely necessary rather than as routine practice and as a preventive rather than a punitive measure".

The answer continued: "We continue to call on the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law and either charge or release detainees".

Read: Israel issued 50 administrative detention orders in September

An estimated 465 Palestinians are currently held without trial or charge by the Israeli occupation authorities, out of a total of more than 6,200 prisoners.

In 2009, the UN's Committee against Torture described Israel's use of the practice as not conforming to the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as it is uses for "inordinately lengthy periods".

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