(Haifa, Israel) Today, 24 May 2010, the Petakh Tikva Magistrates’ Court will hear an urgent motion submitted yesterday, 23 May, by Adalah, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) and Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-IL) demanding that all details regarding the conditions in which Mr. Ameer Makhoul is being detained should be released, as well as the methods of interrogation that have been used against him. Mr. Makhoul is the director of "Ittijah", the network of Arab NGOs in Israel, and a human rights defender. The motion was filed by Adalah Attorney Abeer Baker on behalf of the three organizations.
Mr. Makhoul's legal defense team, Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein and Adalah Attorneys Orna Kohn and Hassan Jabareen, have obtained a detailed affidavit from him containing precise details of the brutal interrogation methods that have been used against him.
Currently, there is a partial "gag order" on the case. This order bans the publication of any details about the case, or any information about the investigation. The petitioners demanded that the court determine that Mr. Makhoul’s affidavit does not fall within the issues to which the gag order applies, since the objective of the order is to prevent the obstruction of the investigation and prevent harm being caused to state security. The affidavit of Ameer Makhoul about the conditions of his detention cannot obstruct the investigation, and its publication in the media cannot be considered a threat to state security. The petitioners argued that it is the right of the public to know about the methods that have been employed in the investigation, and about his detention conditions. This is particularly the case given that serious violations of human rights were committed during the first days of interrogation, during which he was prevented from meeting a lawyer and placed in degrading conditions and isolation.
The Petakh Tikva Magistrates’ Court will hold another hearing on the case tomorrow, 25 May, to extend his detention.
In a related case, yesterday, 23 May, the Petakh Tikva Magistrates’ Court extended the detention of Dr. Omar Saeed until this Thursday, 27 May 2010. The State Prosecution announced that it intended to indict him on the same day in the Nazareth District Court on the charge of contact with a foreign agent.
For more information on the cases, see: