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Israel detains Quds Press journalist without charge or trial

Israeli forces in Qarawat Bani Hassan, Salfit, West Bank on July 26, 2022. [Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli forces in Qarawat Bani Hassan, Salfit, West Bank on July 26, 2022. [Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]

An Israeli military court sentenced Palestinian journalist Amer Abu Arafa of Quds Press to four months in prison on Monday with neither charge nor trial, his outlet has reported. Abu Arafa is being held under the so-called administrative detention rules, which date back to the British Mandate period.

Abu Arafa's wife, Safaa Al-Harroub, said that she went to Ofer Military Court to attend the scheduled hearing in support of her husband, but she did not find him there. "I heard that he had been sentenced under administrative detention rules to four months in prison," she told Quds Press.

Her husband was moved from Etzion Investigation Centre in Mount Hebron, in the occupied West Bank, to Ofer Prison, east of Ramallah.

"From the first day of his detention, the investigation revolved around my husband's work as a journalist," explained Al-Harroub. She expressed her anger at the "silence" of his union, the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate. "Amer carries out his work professionally and punishing him over his work is a form of oppression. All local and international human rights groups must work to stop this farce."

When he was arrested, she recalled, an Israeli army officer threatened him with administrative detention because of his work as a journalist. Administrative detainees are held with neither charge nor trial for indefinite periods. Abu Arafa's "four months" can be renewed time and time again, for example.

The 39 year old was arrested at his house in Hebron on 19 July. The father of three has spent a total of six years inside Israeli jails since 2003, including two years under an earlier administrative detention order.

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