Palestinian political prisonersRead the petition
On April 24, 2014, more than 100 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons without charge or trial (“administrative detention”) launched a collective hunger strike, demanding a halt to the internationally condemned practice.
Currently, 5,271 Palestinians are confined to Israeli prisons, including 192 who have never been charged or tried in court.
The Fourth Geneva Convention stipulates that detention without due process is permissible only in “exceptional circumstances.” In addition, according to Article 9 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), no individual should be subjected to arbitrary detention. All persons must be informed at the time of arrest of the reasons for their detention and given access to a court empowered to rule without delay on the lawfulness of the action.
Yet, between the beginning of 2004 and the end of 2013, the Israeli military governor issued an estimated7,171 orders allowing Palestinians to be held without charge or trial. Orders are issued for six months at a time, and can be extended indefinitely. Thus, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has concluded that Israel’s use of administrative detention cannot be justified on security grounds.
With the health of the Palestinians prisoners on hunger strike rapidly deteriorating, sending more than 100 to the hospital as of this writing, we (the signatories of this petition) declare our condemnation of the arbitrary and ongoing use of administrative detention by Israeli authorities, along with detainees’ brutal and inhumane treatment. Therefore, we:
1. Call upon Israel to end its policy of detention without fair, transparent charge and trial, including an immediate, public review of the cases of all individuals currently held in this status. If charges based on criminal acts rather than political beliefs are not supported with reliable evidence that can be challenged in court, all such persons should be immediately released.
2. Appeal to the international community and governments that stand for justice and democracy to use all means available to pressure Israel to comply with its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Conventions and ICCPR.
3. Call for an emergency meeting of states parties to Geneva Conventions in order to pressure Israel to respect its obligations as an occupying power, and thus ensure the protection of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian population in the OPT, and to treat them humanely at all times.