An Israeli military court extended the administration detention of Alternative Information Center (AIC) member Ahmad Abu Hannya until November 30 to allow the Israeli authorities opportunity to interrogate him. Ahmad’s attorney, Sahar Francis of the Palestinian human rights organization Addameer, fears that on November 30 Israel will issue an administrative detention order against Ahmad for an additional six months.
Ahmad, coordinator of the AIC youth group in Bethlehem, was detained at a checkpoint on his way to work on May 18 2005 and placed in administrative detention, which is imprisonment without trial or charges. As all of the approximately 600 Palestinian administrative detainees currently being held by Israel, Ahmad and his attorney are not even permitted to know the evidence against him.
Ahmad’s administrative detention order was subsequently extended twice, and this month the Israeli authorities requested to extend it for an additional six months. During military court review of this request on 20 November, the military prosecution admitted that no new evidence has been gathered against Ahmad during the past 18 months and that the army has not interrogated him.
Ahmad has been adopted as an appeal case by Amnesty International, and is supported by the American National Lawyers Guild.
The continuing detention of Ahmad and so many other Palestinians blatantly violates international law, which permits administrative detention as an exceptional and highly regulated measure. Administrative detention violates the fundamental right to liberty and due process, and is used by Israel as a tool to oppress political activists in Palestine who struggle non-violently against the Israeli occupation and for a just peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
We do not know the secret evidence that Israel claims to have against Ahmad. We do know, however, that Ahmad has worked with progressive Israelis and Palestinians since 1998 on behalf of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all peoples in the area. Ahmad has a demonstrated commitment to a just peace and joint life for Palestinians and Israelis in the region.
We urge you to contact the Israeli authorities and join us in demanding Ahmad’s unconditional release from administrative detention on or before 30 November 2006. The Israeli authorities must release Ahmad or charge him with a recognizable criminal offence and in accordance with internationally accepted standards for a fair trial.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Kiryat Ben Gurion
Jerusalem 91919 Israel
Fax: +972 2 670 5475 or +972 2 566 4838
Ministry of Justice
29 Salah Adin Street
Fax: +972 2 628 5438 or +972 2 627 4481
Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit
Judge Advocate General
6 David Elazar Street
Fax: 972 3 569 4370
As Ahmad begins his nineteenth month in prison, we further urge you to write him letters of solidarity:
Ahmad Abu Hannya
Prisoner number 3186/05
Ktziot Detention Camp 01771
Letters may also be sent by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write “For Ahmad Abu Hannya” in the subject line.
Additional information about Ahmad may be found on the website of the Alternative Information Center: www.alternativenews.org.