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Palestinian Authority: Further information on Fear of torture or ill-treatment / possible prisoner of conscience / legal concern: Jamal al-Tawil

, N° d'index: MDE 21/024/1998

Jamal al-Tawil continues to be held at a detention centre in Jericho two months after his arrest. He was apparently tortured and kept in incommunicado detention but is now allowed regular visits from his family and is reported to be in good health.

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 21/24/98
25 November 1998
Further information on UA 266/98 (MDE 21/23/98, 12 October 1998) - Fear of
Torture or ill-treatment / Possible prisoner of conscience / Legal Concern
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITYJamal al-Tawil, human rights activist
Nearly two months after his arrest, Jamal al-Tawil is still being held at a
Palestinian General Intelligence detention centre (mukhabarat) in Jericho.
Over a period of around three weeks, Jamal al-Tawil was apparently tortured
on a daily basis, including being hung from the ceiling for hours at a time
and kept in incommunicado detention. The Palestinian authorities are accusing
him of being a leader of Hamas (an Islamist group opposed to the peace process)
which he is denying, saying that he works on behalf of Palestinian prisoners.
It is not known if he will be further interrogated. His wife and parents
are now able to visit him regularly and bring him food and have told Amnesty
International that he is in relatively good health.
Palestinian human rights organizations, including attorneys from the
Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment,
(LAW), have tried unsuccessfully on several occasions to gain access to Jamal
al-Tawil.
On 2 November 1998, LAW appealed to the Palestinian High Court for a writ of
habeas corpus. This would require the court to examine the lawfulness of his
detention. Jamal al-Tawil, who was arrested without a warrant, has still not
been given access to a lawyer, brought before a judge or formally charged with
any offence.
Network members may send further letters of appeal by fax, express or airmail
in Arabic or English or in their own language:
- asking the authorities to carry out an immediate investigation into reports
that Jamal al-Tawil was tortured during interrogation and for any officer found
to have used or ordered torture to be brought to justice;
- requesting that he be granted immediate and regular access to his lawyer;
- asking for his release unless he is promptly charged with a recognizable
criminal offence and brought to fair trial;
- reminding the Palestinian Authority of its commitment to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, in particular Article 5: "No one shall be subjected
to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
APPEALS TO:
President Yasser Arafat
Palestinian Authority
Al-Muntada
Gaza
Palestinian Authority
Faxes: + 972 7 282 2365 (when voice answers, please request fax tone)
Salutation: Dear President Arafat
Mr Freih Abu Meddein
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
Abu Khadra Building
2
Omar al-Mukhtar Street
Gaza
Palestinian Authority
Faxes: + 972 7 286 7109
Salutation: Dear Minister
Brigadier General Tawfiq al-Tirawi
Head of General Intelligence in the West Bank
Jericho
Palestinian Authority
Faxes: + 972 2 232 1283
Salutation: Dear Brigadier General al-Tirawi
COPIES TO:
The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment
(LAW)
PO Box 20873
Jerusalem, via Israel
and to representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization accredited
to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 6 January 1998.
"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment"
Article 5 , Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Visit the Amnesty International UDHR campaign website on http://www.amnesty.excite.com

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