Appeal to End Two-Month House Arrest of Political Protestor

Detention Appeal 4285/02, Basil Amara v. The State of Israel

An appeal was filed in 5/02 on behalf of Mr. Basil Amara, a 23-year-old Arab citizen of Israel, who was arrested and detained following a Land Day demonstration where he displayed a photo of Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah. In 4/02, Mr. Amara was indicted for "supporting a terrorist organization" under the emergency powers Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (1948). In 5/02, the Nazareth Magistrate Court ordered that Mr. Amara remain under house arrest until the end of trial; a subsequent appeal to the Nazareth District Court was rejected. Adalah argued before the Supreme Court that there is no legal cause for holding Mr. Amara under house arrest, and that the conditions of his arrest amount to preventive punishment and are disproportionate to the charges against him.

Result: In 6/02, the Supreme Court upheld the decisions of the lower courts, ruling that Mr. Amara could request that the Magistrate Court re-examine the conditions of his detention if the criminal trial continues for an extended period of time.

(Detention Appeal 4285/02, Basil Amara v. The State of Israel, unpublished decision delivered on 11 June 2002).