Thursday, 1 March 2012

International campaign against administrative detention launched

Hana' Mother Carrying Her Picture. Hana has entered her 15th day on hunger strike -

The Palestinian Minister of Detainees, Issa Qaraqie, announced today that his ministry is organizing an international campaign against Israeli administrative detentions, and their ill-treatment of Palestinian political detainees held in Israeli jails.

“This campaign an open invitation to all human-right groups and supporters of the Palestinian cause, governmental or non-governmental associations, to sign a petition that calls for pressuring the Israeli occupation to end its policy of administrative detention, since it's illegal under international law and inhuman practice.” Qaraqie told the IMEMC on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons said on Thursday that they are going to boycott Israeli military courts in protest of administrative detention orders, and the ill-treatment by their captors.

The recent developments come as political detainee, Hana Ash-Shalabi, entered her 15th day of hunger striking. Ash-Shalabi was arrested at her home on February 16 by Israeli troops. She is protesting the army order of holding her under Administrative Detention for six months.

“Hana is losing a lot of weight; she can barley stand. I hold the Egyptian mediators of the prisoner-swap deal responsible for the wellbeing of my daughter,” Yihiya Ash-Shalabi, Hana’s father told the IMEMC on Thursday from the protest tent outside his home in the village of Borqeen, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

Ash-Shalabi was released last October after spending two years under Israeli administrative detention. Her release came as part of the Egyptian mediated prisoner-swap deal between Palestinian groups and Israel.

Israel uses Administrative Detention to hold Palestinians without charges, a sentence that could amount to years in some cases. Ayman Karajja is a researcher for Al Dameer association for human rights. He explained to the IMEMC the workings of Administrative Detention. more

Hundreds run Gaza marathon as fund raiser for UNRWA children’s summer camps

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip — Some 2,200 school children and 300 adults ran a relay race Thursday traversing the Gaza Strip north to south, roughly the distance of an Olympic marathon, to raise money for U.N. summer camps.

The race, sponsored by the U.N. aid agency for Gaza refugees, was held in rainy and unusually cold weather. The children ran segments of one kilometer (0.6 miles), while some of the adults ran full marathons, said Adnan Abu Hassna, a spokesman for the U.N. agency.

It was Gaza’s second marathon in two years. Last year’s winner, Nader al-Masri, won again this year, but due to the bad weather crossed the finish line in 3 hours and 20 minutes, a full hour more than last year’s result, Abu Hassna said. Runners from France and the U.S. also participated, he said. more

Of 600 priosners to be imminently released by Israel only 12 are Palestinian

NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israel is set to release at least a dozen Palestinian prisoners on Friday, a human rights group said.

Ahmad al-Beitawy, a researcher with International Solidarity for Human Rights, said Thursday that the Israeli prison administration will release prisoners with sentences of four years or less.

The expected release is due in part to the activation of a law by the prison authorities which sees detainees released early for good behavior and because they have undertaken a third of their sentence, al-Beitawy said.

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Prisoner Affairs said Thursday, however, that the Israeli decision to release prisoners was in fact related to conditions of overcrowding in jails, and lawyer for the ministry Jawad Omoumi told Ma'an that announcements by the International Solidarity for Human Rights group were inaccurate.

"I called detainees in Ofer prison, which includes detainees whose time in prison is nearly up, and they assured me that the Israeli prison administration informed 12 Palestinians, whose time is up, that they will be released," he said.

Omoumi said that Israel will release over 600 prisoners from jails across the country due to overcrowding, but only 12 are of Palestinian origin. more