Update: Palestinian lawyer’s detention extended
French-Palestinian human rights defender Salah Hammouri has been held without charge or trial since 7 March. Hours before his expected release, on 4 September his detention order was once again extended, now set to expire on 4 December.
On 25 September, together with 29 Palestinian administrative detainees, he went on hunger strike to protest Israel’s widespread and systematic use of this cruel and unjust form of detention. As punishment for going on the strike, he spent 15 days in solitary confinement in a dirty, small windowless cell with no contact with anyone. He has since been moved out of the isolation cell but remains held without charge or trial.
The human rights defender has faced persistent harassment by the Israeli authorities since 2002.
He is also at real risk of deportation as Israel’s Ministry of Interior has taken action to revoke his residency status in East Jerusalem.
Israel’s systematic use of administrative detention violates international human rights law and results in arbitrary detention. When prolonged or repeated, it can amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. This could constitute an inhuman act perpetrated to maintain its system of apartheid over Palestinians, which is a crime against humanity.
The Israeli authorities must release Salah Hammouri immediately or promptly charge him with an internationally recognisable offence and ensure that he is allowed to keep his residency status in Jerusalem and continue his human rights work without fear of reprisals.
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