Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian's lawyers demand State Attorney’s intervention following repeated, illegal police interrogations after her release from detention

The police have summoned Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian for a third interrogation on 2 May. The police are questioning her about her description of East Jerusalem as occupied, her interpretation of "settler-colonialism," and whether she continues to believe that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.

Today, 1 May 2024, Prof. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian's lawyers sent a letter to State Attorney Amit Isman, Deputy State Attorney for Special Matters Alon Altman, and the Israel Police Station in Mevaseret Zion regarding the repeated police interrogations. 


Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian was arrested on 18 April 2024, detained overnight, and released under certain conditions. Following her release, she was summoned for three police interrogations: on 25 April, 28 April, and tomorrow, 2 May.  


The letter sent by Adalah Attorney Hadeel Abo-Saleh clarified that Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian's legal team has advised her not to answer questions on political topics or any questions that exceed the scope approved by the state attorney's office for this interrogation. The lawyers further noted that if she is summoned for another interrogation, they would consider legal action to stop Israel's police from politically persecuting her. During the previous interrogations, the police asked Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian illegal questions, which amount to political persecution and violate academic freedom. These police actions amount to an abuse of the criminal process for the purpose of intimidation.


    CLICK HERE to read the letter [Hebrew]

Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s legal team consists of private attorney Alaa Mahajneh, Adalah's General Director Dr. Hassan Jabareen and Adalah Attorney Hadeel Abo-Saleh.


During the two, four-hour interrogations, the police asked Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian why she described East Jerusalem as an occupied city and to clarify what she meant by the term and on what grounds. The police also questioned her about the meaning of "settler-colonialism" and the sources she used when referring to the number of children killed in Gaza since the start of the war. Moreover, the police investigators asked if she still believes that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.


Professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and an internationally renowned professor at the Faculty of Law-Institute of Criminology and the School of Social Work and Public Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Global Chair in Law- Queen Mary University of London, was arrested at her home in Jerusalem on 18 April 2024. The arrest was based on statements she made in a podcast on Makdisi Street, posted on 8 March, titled "There is So Much Love in Palestine." The day after her arrest, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court rejected the police's request to extend her detention, a decision that was upheld by the District Court, which dismissed the police's appeal against her release.


To read more about the courts’ decisions

The arrest warrant issued against Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian, and her subsequent police interrogation, were authorized by the Deputy State Attorney for Special Duties, as required by the State Attorney's guidelines. This authorization specifically allowed the police to interrogate her regarding three publications for which she had already been questioned during her detention. Despite the state attorney's clear limitations, the police interrogated her about her academic publications that were not covered by the state attorney’s office approval. Following her arrest, interrogation, and the police's abuse of authority, her legal team sent a letter to the state attorney's office on 25 April 2024, requesting urgent intervention to prevent further police summons for interrogation. Alternatively, they asked the state attorney to instruct the police not to question her about statements outside the approved scope. In the letter, the legal team also argued that the authorization granted by the state attorney's office was illegal from the start and that it violated freedom of expression and academic freedom. They emphasized that the approval itself constituted an act of political persecution and harassment by the authorities against legitimate speech. Since her release from detention, however, the police have summoned Prof. Shalhoub-Kevorkian for two additional interrogations at the Mevaseret police station. The conduct of the investigators during these interrogations, as well as the subsequent summoning for further questioning, prompted the letter sent today.