Permission for a Political Prisoner to Attend Son's Wedding.

Appeal 6990/01, Mohammad Zayed v. The Prison Authority

Appeal filed in 9/01 to the Supreme Court on behalf of a Palestinian political prisoner citizen of Israel, Mr. Mohammad Zayed, seeking an order to compel the Prison Authority to grant Mr. Zayed a furlough to attend his son's wedding. Mr. Zayed had already served 13 years of an indeterminate life sentence, and had previously been granted permission to attend his mother's funeral six years ago. According to Israeli law, Prisons Order (1971), the Minister of Internal Security may grant prisoners who received indeterminate life sentences a leave of absence for up to 48 hours under special circumstances, such as for family affairs. In this instance, the Prison Authority chose to deny Mr. Zayed's request, and the District Court upheld this refusal. Adalah argued that although the Prison Authority has no obligation to grant a leave of absence, in this case, it offered no reasonable basis for rejecting the request. Further, Adalah argued that the decision was discriminatory, as the Prison Authority routinely granted requests made by similarly situated Israeli Jewish prisoners.

Result: Appeal denied without a hearing. Supreme Court ruled that it would not intervene in the Prison Authority's decision.

(Appeal 6990/01, Mohammad Zayed v. The Prison Authority, decision delivered 6 September 2001)

Appeal of Unjust Denial of Prisoner's Furlough Rights. An appeal was filed in 4/02 on behalf of Mr. Abd el-Rahim Masarweh, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who is currently incarcerated at Ayalon prison. Adalah requested that the Supreme Court reverse the District Court’s decision to deny a furlough to Mr. Masarweh based on a drawing he produced in a prison art therapy class, secret evidence, and a reference to the security situation in Israel. In the appeal, Adalah argued that the District Court erred in its 1/02 decision, as it failed to verify whether a mandated re-assessment of Mr. Masarweh's status was carried out, and that it relied solely on a secret intelligence document prepared over one year ago, without granting Mr. Masarweh the opportunity to defend himself against these allegations. Responding to the Supreme Court appeal, the state accepted that Mr. Masarweh be granted a furlough, however, the state imposed a condition of house arrest. The state also agreed that Mr. Masarweh be allowed to apply to the Prison Authority for re-classification, in order that he may participate in a rehabilitation program. Adalah argued that these remedies were insufficient; however, the Court accepted the state's position and rejected the appeal in 6/02.

Request for Appeal 3187/02, Abd el-Rahim Masarweh v. Israel Prison Authority (decision delivered on 6 June 2002; Takdin Elyon 2002(2), 1914).