Adalah demands that Attorney General announce the names of Gaza detainees brought to Israel and allow lawyers to visit them

Adalah: Lack of dissemination of information about the detainees, prevention of lawyers’ visits raises serious concerns about rights violations; family members in heightened state of anxiety and fear.

Today, on 25 July 2014, Adalah submitted a pre-petition to the Attorney General’s office demanding that the names of individuals from Gaza, who were arrested by the Israeli army in recent days and transferred to Israel, be announced, that their place of detention be declared and that lawyers be allowed to visit them immediately. If this information is not released by 12 noon on Sunday 27 July, Adalah will file a motion for habeas corpus to the Israeli Supreme Court to compel the government to announce it.

Adalah Attorneys Nadeem Shehadeh and Sawsan Zaher emphasized in the pre-petition that according to family members and human rights organizations in Gaza, the Israeli army has arrested hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza in recent days during the ground invasion. Today, the Israeli media reported that the army transferred detainees from Gaza to detention centers in Israel, particularly in the south.

In the letter, Adalah noted that other human rights organizations had already contacted the army to demand the exact whereabouts of the detainees and to allow the lawyers to visit them, but they did not receive any response, despite the importance of the emergency.  Adalah has stressed that a lawyer’s visit is essential in protecting the individual’s right to legal representation, as well as in monitoring the conditions of detention. Thus, Adalah demanded that the Israeli authorities respond immediately and allow lawyers to visit the detainees.

The letter argued that the lack of dissemination of information about the detainees, coupled with the prevention of lawyers’ visits, raises serious concerns about their situation. In addition, as long as no information on the whereabouts of a person is available, family members remain in heightened state of anxiety and fear. Moreover, the current situation may lead to additional rights violations against the detainees, as they do not have any tools to defend their rights without the assistance of lawyers.

Read more:

Amira Hass, “Israel holding unknown number of Palestinians captured in Gaza Strip”, Ha’aretz, 25 July 2014