Joint Statement: Release PLC member Khalida Jarrar from administrative detention
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I), and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) express deep concern over the arrest and six-month administrative detention of Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar, who suffers from numerous health issues.
The Israeli military arrested Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar on 02 April 2015, and a 6-month administrative detention order has been issued, raising deep concern from Addameer, Adalah, PHR-I, and PCATI due to Mrs. Jarrar’s chronic health conditions.
Mrs. Jarrar is required to take regular medical lab tests for monitoring her blood for clotting (coagulation profile) every three days. She also requires anti-coagulant medication (comadin) due to high risk of new infractions on the brain and deep vein thrombosis.
Medical tests taken in 2010 indicated that Mrs. Jarrar has multiple ischemic infarctions and hypercholesterolemia. Based on previous medical records from the Palestine Medical Complex, she has been admitted to hospitalization due to epistaxis where she was treated to stop continuous bleeding. She has also been previously treated for deep vein thrombosis numerous times.
Mrs. Jarrar has had a travel ban imposed on her movement since 1998, and she has only been permitted to travel on one occasion for medical treatment in 2010, following legal proceedings and diplomatic pressure.
Israel continues to systematically use administrative detention in blatant violation of international law, as a mechanism of deterrence and punishment against Palestinian society. It is imposed with the deliberate goals of instilling fear and disrupting social and political life in the OPT, as well a means of disrupting the political process given the continuous targeting of Palestinian Legislative Council members. As the Human Rights Committee has observed in previous concluding observations, this type of indefinite administrative detention constitutes arbitrary detention and violates Article 7 of the ICCPR. It also violates international humanitarian law, and it can be considered a war crime, as article 8(2) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court states that “willfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial” may be considered a grave breach. We firmly believe that Israel’s use of administrative detention should cease immediately.
Following a mass hunger strike by prisoners protesting against the use of administrative detention, which ended in May 2012, Israel committed to limiting the use of administrative detention to only ‘exceptional circumstances’, as required under international law. However, Israel reneged on this agreement by continuing to use administrative detention on a systematic basis. In July 2013 the number of administrative detainees was 136, the lowest number since the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strikes in April 2012. Since then, the number of Palestinian administrative detainees has risen, with particularly sharp increases in the summer of 2014 during Israeli military operations in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. As a result, the number of administrative detainees increased from 196 in May 2014, to 363 in June 2014, to 446 in July 2014, and 473 in August 2014. There are approximately 424 Palestinian administrative detainees including 7 Palestinian Legislative Council members.
Addameer, Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I), and the Public Committtee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) therefore express grave concern over the administrative detention and the health of Mrs. Jarrar. The abovementioned organizations call for an end to Israel’s use of administrative detention, and for Mrs. Jarrar’s immediate release.
Khalida Jarrar, a Palestinian feminist, is 51-years old and has been a Palestinian Legislative Council member since 2006. She also heads the subject of prisoner’s issues in the Palestinian Legislative Council, and is also deputy chairperson of the Board of Directors of Addameer.