Al Mezan Condemns Re-Arrest of Hanaa’ Ash Shalabi, Holds International Community Responsible for Her Life and Calls for Wider Solidarity Campaign to End Her Administrative Detention
Detainee Hanaa’ Yihya Saber Ash Shalabi, 30, today continues on the hunger strike she began upon her detention by Israel, now in its eleventh consecutive day. In the early morning hours of Thursday 16 February 2012, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) re-arrested Ash Shalabi, only four months after she had been released from prior Israeli custody. She was sentenced to six months’ administrative detention and jailed at HaSharon prison.
At approximately 1:30 am on Thursday 16 February 2012, the IOF surrounded Hanaa’ Ash Shalabi’s house, which is located on Ash Shuhadaa street in Barqeen village, in the Jenin governorate of the West Bank, and arrested her. On the first day of her detention Hanaa’ was kept in solitary confinement at the Al Jalama prison in the West Bank. On the second day, she was transferred to HaSharon prison in Israel. Ash Shalabi refused to appear before the Israeli military court there, which sentenced her to administrative detention for six months.
Israeli authorities and courts continue to arrest and detain Palestinians under the Emergency Law of 1945, which was in force during the British Mandate over Palestine. This law allows Israeli authorities to detain Palestinians without putting them on trial or even providing a reason, and to repeatedly extend the term of detention by default procedures. The Israeli authorities have also ratified the Unlawful Combatant Law of 2000, which allows the IOF to detain Palestinians without charge or disclosure of the term of detention. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, there are currently about 290 administrative detainees, among them the chairman of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), a number of other PLC members, Sheikh Khader Adnan, who recently ended his hunger strike after 66 days, and Ash Shalabi. It is worth noting that the IOF had released Ash Shalabi from a previous term of administrative detention in the prisoner swap of October 2011, during which the IOF released 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.
The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights pays tribute to Palestinian prisoners’ struggle against injustice and violation of human rights, and for freedom and dignity. Palestinian prisoners are risking their lives in protest against the practice of administrative detention used against them by the IOF. Al Mezan strongly condemns Israel’s continuing detention of Hanaa’ Ash Shalabi and condemns any inhumane treatment to which she may have been subjected. Al Mezan emphasizes that the Ash Shalabi case reveals the IOF’s violations of the most basic human rights principles, particularly the right of detainees to dignity and to fair trial.
Al Mezan also expresses its concern for Ash Shalabi’s life and holds the international community responsible for her well-being. Al Mezan calls on the international community to intervene and asserts that its silence regarding the ongoing Israeli violations of international human rights law has only encouraged Israel to carry out further violations, including ratification of racist laws which contradict the norms of international justice.
The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights calls on the sponsor of the prisoner swap deal to intervene and force Israel to immediately release Ash Shalabi. Al Mezan reiterates its previous calls on peace, democracy, and human rights supporters around the world to intervene to express solidarity with Hanaa’ Ash Shalabi and other Palestinian detainees and to expose Israel’s violations of international law, particularly those inhering in its Unlawful Combatant Law and its practice of administrative detention. Al Mezan calls on these forces to exert pressure on their governments to uphold their moral obligations as well as their legal duties under international law, in order to end the systematic Israeli violations of Palestinian rights, and to provide for detainees’ needs, including health care and the right to family visitation and correspondence and communication. It also calls on the international community to take action for the immediate release of children, women, and those detained without trial, as a preliminary step toward the release of all Palestinian detainees.