Detentions have continued in the West Bank on seemingly political and opinion grounds.
Despite the condemnations of this practice and a ruling by the Palestinian Court of Justice, these violations of Palestinian law have continued.
Information available to the human rights organizations indicate that the number of detainees by the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security forces in the West Bank is about 500.
Their detention conditions and treatment are in clear violation of the Palestinian law.
The undersigned organizations view the PA's security forces disregard of the High Court ruling that ordered the release of several detainees as a clear infringement on the cult of the judicial authority.
It also represents removal of the most important guarantees and safeguards that citizens could resort to when faced by arbitrariness of authority and its violation of their rights and freedoms.
In additions, the failure of the PA's security forces to implement the Court's orders warns could bring about serious implications if the executive continued its refraining from making effective and serious interventions to confront it.
The undersigned organizations call on Ramallah Government to intervene in order to ensure the respect and cult of the judicial authority throughout obliging the security forces to respect and implement the courts' decisions.
Article 106 of the Palestinian Basic Law states that' [T]he implementation of judicial rulings is mandatory; and refraining from or obstructing their implementation in any manner whatsoever shall be considered a crime punishable by imprisonment or dismissal from position if the accused is a public servant or assigned to public service, and persons who benefit from such rulings have the right to appeal to a competent court, and the Palestinian National Authority shall ensure full reparation.
' (Informal translation by Al Mezan) The undersigned organizations call on Ramallah Government to immediately release the following six detainees whom the High Court ordered released: · Mohammed Ahmed Soukiya, 34, who is a resident of Jenin and was arrested on 6 February 2008; · Wael Mohammed Al Beetar, 42, who was arrested on 15 September 2008; · Wisam Azam Al Qawasmi, 23, who was arrested on 8 October 2008; · Mohannad Mahmoud Nayroukh, 23, who was arrested on 9 October 2008; · Ahmed Mohammed Al-Iwiwi, 24, who was arrested on 15 September 2008; and · Majd Maher Obeid, 21.
The last five detainees are from Hebron.
On Monday 22 November 2010, the six detainees started hunger strike in protest against their detention by the General Intelligence Apparatus despite a High Court ruling ordering their release.
On 13 December 2010, an agreement between the detainees and representatives of the PA was reached under which the detainees agreed to partially freeze their hunger strike if they get transferred to detention centers close to their places of residence, and implementation of the High Court rulings ordering their immediate release.
Nevertheless, this agreement is not implemented and the detainees have stayed in prison.
The undersigned organizations strongly condemn the practice of political detention and call for: 1.
Immediate release of all Palestinian political detainees; particularly those mentioned above, and ensuring holding accountable all those who violate courts’ rulings by imprisonment or exclusion from public service, as provided by the law.
Public freedoms and human rights must be kept from the political disagreements.
Ending the imposition by the military courts and prosecution on the authorities disrespect delegated to civilian courts and prosecution, and ensuring that civilians are dealt with by the competent, civilian bodies.
Ends Al Haq Al Dameer Association for Human Rights Al Mezan Center for Human Rights