administrative detention

Administrative detention;               “… a procedure under which detainees are held without charge or trial. No charges are filed, and there is no intention of bringing a detainee to trial. By the detention order, a detainee is given a specific term of detention. On or before the expiry of the term, the detention order is frequently renewed. This process can be continued indefinitely.”  – Amnesty International.

Administrative detention is a measure that is overwhelmingly targeted at Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories. Over the years, only nine Israeli citizens from settlements in the West Bank have reportedly been detained for periods up to six months. Use of administrative detention increased almost 300-fold in a single year between 2001 and 2002. Each year since has seen hundreds of administrative detention orders being issued against Palestinians. Most of the Palestinians in administrative detention are held in Ofer Military Camp in the West Bank, the Ansar 3 / Ketziot Military Camp in the harsh Negev desert, Beituniya and Kfar Yuna Military Prison camps.

Already in 1998, Amnesty International reported that “… in Megiddo Military Detention Centre Marwan Ma’ali who was arrested in August committed suicide in September. Psychiatrists in the detention centre had reportedly diagnosed him as depressive with suicidal tendencies and recommended his release or hospitalisation. An Israeli human rights organisation had described his isolation cell as ‘unsuitable for habitation for any human being’. Nevertheless, his administrative detention had been extended for five months shortly before his suicide.”

Administrative detention is allowed under Israeli law and according to the Israeli Government: “Administrative detention is resorted to only in cases where there is corroborating evidence that an individual is engaged in illegal acts which involved danger to state security and to the lives of civilians, regardless of whether the person involved is an Arab or a Jew.” In practice, however, the broad formulation of the grounds for detention means that administrative detention has at times been used by the Israeli authorities to detain prisoners of conscience, held for their non-violent exercise of the right to freedom of expression and association. Some administrative detainees have been held for years at a time. Administrative detention does nothing to combat perceived Palestinian insurgents from carrying out terrorist activities within Israel. If anything, it serves to indoctrinate the youth toward extremist groups as they witness first hand, the atrocities committed on their people.

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~ by k-rock and l-jive on July 9, 2008.

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