Palestinian Minister of Detainees calls for boycotting Israeli military courts 27Jan12 January 26, 2012

IMEMC  -  26 January 2012

Palestinian Minister of Detainees in the West Bank, Issa Qaraqe’, called for boycotting all Israeli military courts for their repeated rulings that confine thousands of detainees under administrative orders without filing any official indictments against them.

His statements came during a visit to the family of detainee, Ahmad Nabhan Saqer, 47 years old, at the Askar refugee camp, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Saqer has been imprisoned under administrative detention orders for 4 years.

He was abducted in November 2008, and Israeli military courts have repeatedly issued administrative detention orders against him without filing any charges.

Saqer was abducted 3 times before, and has spent a total of 12 years, and counting, behind bars.

The Palestinian Minister said that administrative detention is an illegal and unconstitutional form of imprisonment as military courts do not have to file charges or reveal the cause of arrest.

Detainees held under administrative detention do not know for sure when, or if, they will be released, as Israel often continues to renew these orders without any prior notice, and in some cases, the detainees are told they are told that they will be released, taken to the main prison gate of where they are held, and are then informed that a new order was issued against them, usually for 3 or 6 months each time.

Qaraqe’ voiced an appeal to human rights groups to practice pressure on Israel and oblige it to end its administrative detention laws as they are arbitrary, unconstitutional and violate International Law, especially since there will be no court hearing and no chances for the defense attorney to defend his client.

He said that all military courts must be boycotted as they base their rulings on “secret files” that even defense attorneys do not have access to.

The wife of Saqer stated that the extended imprisonment of her husband and the uncertainty of when or if he will be released, directly impacts the family, especially his children who can’t know for sure when their father will be able to return home.

On January 20, 2012, Saqer declared he will be boycotting or appeals military courts, and stated that appearing in front of military courts and judges provides them with legitimacy they do not have.

There are 280 Palestinians who are currently imprisoned under administrative detention orders; Israel has issued more than 20,000 administrative detention orders since the year 2000. These orders have also been issued against children, women and elected legislators.

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