• Campagnes

Israel and the Occupied Territories (Palestinian Authority's Areas: Gaza): Legal concern: At least 51 people

, N° d'index: MDE 15/004/1995

Since 6 February 1995, at least 200 suspected members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and the Islamist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been arrested by the security forces of the Palestinian Authority (PA). They have been held in detention, without access to lawyers or a judge and, in many cases, to their families. Many appear to have been released but at least 51 people have been held in Gaza Central Prison without access to a lawyer or judge (including those listed above).

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 15/04/95
Distr: UA/SC
This is a limited action. Please restrict appeals to 20 per section.
UA 49/95 Legal Concern 24 February 1995
ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES - Palestinian Authority's Areas: Gaza
At least 51 people, including: Attiya Abu Mansur, journalist
Hammad Fayyad, journalist
Zakariya Madhhun, journalist
Khaled Sadiq, journalist
Nahid Kutkut, journalist
'Ala' Saftawi, general manager of office of Istiqlal newspaper
Since 6 February, at least 200 suspected members of the Democratic Front for
the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and the Islamist groups Hamas and Islamic
Jihad, which oppose the Oslo Agreement, have been arrested by members of the
security forces of the Palestinian Authority (PA). They have been held in
detention without access to lawyers or a judge, and in many cases access to
their family has also been denied. Most of the arrests were carried out without
a warrant. One man, released after a week, has said that he was interrogated
solely about his political activities, not about any specific offence.
Many appear to have been released, but at least 51 people including alleged
members of the DFLP and Islamic Jihad have been held in Gaza Central Prison
since 6 and 7 February without access to a lawyer or judge. This number includes
the six journalists named above who were arrested on 6 February.
Such denial of access contravenes Palestinian criminal procedures contained
in the Criminal Procedure (Arrest and Searches) Ordinance of 1924 which states
that: "A person arrested without a warrant and detained... shall be brought
before a magistrate within forty-eight hours of his arrest" (Article 10(1))
and that: "If the person arrested has not been brought before a magistrate
within the said period of forty-eight hours he shall be released" (Article
10(4)). The denial of access also contravenes international human rights
standards.
Amnesty International is concerned that, in the absence of immediate remedial
measures by the PA, the present pattern of detention, in violation of
international standards, will become entrenched in the areas under its
jurisdiction.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Since the establishment of the PA in May 1994, hundreds of alleged members
of Islamist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been arrested. Until
January 1995 none had been charged with any offence or brought before any
judicial authority. Although most were released after a few days, some were
kept for weeks or months without access to lawyers. To date, Amnesty
International knows of only two cases where charges have been brought against
detainees. The organization has called on the PA to take action to ensure
that international standards are upheld with regard to arrest and detention
procedures.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express and airmail letters
in Arabic, English or your own language:
2
- calling for the immediate release of any detainee unless he is to be charged
with a recognizably criminal offence and promptly brought to trial according
to international standards for fair trial;
- calling on the PA to ensure that all families of detainees are immediately
notified of the detention and that all detainees have prompt access to their
families, lawyers and independent doctors and to judges, as required by
international human rights standards.
APPEALS TO
1. Mr Yasser Arafat
Palestinian Authority
Abu Khadra Building
Omar al-Mukhtar Street
Gaza, via Israel
Faxes: +972 7 822365/6 (if voice, say "fax, please")
Telegrams: Chairman Arafat, Palestinian Authority, Gaza, via Israel
Salutation: Dear Mr Arafat
2. Mr Freih Abu Meddein
Palestinian Authority
Minister of Justice
Abu Khadra Building
Omar al-Mukhtar Street
Gaza, via Israel
Faxes: +972 7 822236
Telegrams: Justice Minister, Palestinian Authority, Gaza, via Israel
Salutation: Dear Mr Meddein
3. Mr Khalid al-Qidrah
Attorney General
Palestinian Authority
Attorney General Building
Yarmouk, Gaza, via Israel
Faxes: +972 7 824503
Telegrams: Attorney General, Palestinian Authority, Gaza, via Israel
Salutation: Dear Mr al-Qidrah
4. Major-General Nasr Yussef
Commander of Police Force
Al-Sarrayeh Building
Gaza, via Israel
Telegrams: Police Commander Yussef, Palestinian Authority, Gaza, via Israel
Faxes: +972 7 822803
Salutation: Dear Major-General
Please Note: It can sometimes be difficult to get through to the Gaza strip
by phone/fax.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 15 April 1995.

Dans quelle langue voulez-vous lire le rapport ?