Responding to the news that the Israeli authorities have extended human rights defender Salah Hammouri’s administrative detention for another three months, Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:
“Since March, the Israeli authorities have arbitrarily detained Salah Hammouri without charge or trial in an obvious attempt to muzzle his work on human rights. It is outrageous that he now has to serve yet another three months in detention.
“The Israeli authorities must immediately release Salah Hammouri. All those held in administrative detention must be immediately released unless they are promptly charged with an internationally recognizable offence and tried in proceedings that adhere to international fair trial standards.
“Instead of Salah Hammouri going home to his family today, he is facing another three months of incarceration. His detention could even be extended further and used against him to expedite his forcible deportation from Jerusalem. Amnesty International calls on the Israeli authorities to ensure that he is allowed to keep his residency status in Jerusalem and continue his human rights work without fear of reprisals.”
Salah Hammouri is a French-Palestinian lawyer, human rights defender and researcher who works for Palestinian NGO Addameer. He has been held by the Israeli authorities since 7 March, when he was taken from his home in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Kufr Aqab.
Since September 2020, the Israeli authorities have been taking steps to revoke Salah Hammouri’s permanent resident status on the grounds of “breach of allegiance” to the State of Israel, putting him at risk of deportation.
According to Addameer, as of May 2022, there are 600 Palestinians currently in administrative detention. Under administrative detention, Israel detains Palestinians without intent to prosecute them in a criminal trial. Orders can be renewed indefinitely and evidence is kept secret, meaning that detainees are not able to effectively challenge their detention and do not know when they will be released. Israel’s systematic use of administrative detention violates international human rights law. Its use as such results in arbitrary detention, and if prolonged or repeated can amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. Amnesty International has shown that Israel’s use of administrative detention constitutes an inhuman act perpetrated to maintain its system of apartheid over Palestinians, which is a crime against humanity.