Israeli occupation authorities yesterday extended the detention without trial or charge of Palestinian-French human rights worker Salah Hamouri, ignoring the appeals by local and international NGOs who condemned the latest development.
Hamouri, who works as a field researcher for Palestinian prisoners’ support group Addameer, was arrested at his East Jerusalem home by Israeli forces on 23 August 2017. Six days later, Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman issued a six-month administrative detention order against him.
On Monday, Lieberman authorised the renewal of his administrative detention order for a further four months, extending Hamouri’s detention until at least 28 June.
Addameer, responding to the news, slammed the Israeli authorities for imprisoning Hamouri on the basis of “his human rights promoting activists and his activism”.
According to the organisation, Hamouri is “responsible for meeting with ex-prisoners and detainees, and their families, to collect information regarding their detainment and the conditions in which they were kept”, and passed the Palestinian bar just three days before his arrest.
The Israeli authorities’ decision was also heavily criticised by Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Magdalena Mughrabi.
Being held in administrative detention has placed Salah Hamouri in indefinite limbo; the evidence against him is being kept secret, he is not able to effectively challenge his detention and does not know when he will be released
“This violates his right to a fair trial and his ongoing detention without charge is a violation of his right to liberty. Salah Hamouri must either be charged or released immediately.”
The Amnesty International statement described Hamouri’s detention as “another outrageous example of Israel’s extensive use of administrative detention”, whose “use has been steadily expanding over the years of the Israeli occupation”.
“Amnesty International calls on Israel to end its use of this practice, which places detainees and their families in a continuous state of uncertainty.”
Addameer, meanwhile, said it was “evident that closed door diplomacy has achieved little”, and “the requests from French authorities have fallen on the deaf ears of the occupation.”
The group added: “We call on the occupation authorities to cancel their renewal and release Salah immediately. Additionally, the French and EU representatives must publicly condemn the illegal imprisonment of their citizen.”