Thursday, December 29, 2011

Torture, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.

One year and nine months ago...and I will NEVER forget Omars eyes, I hope that our love can heal...
This article is about Geneve and nobody who cares about and against torture.
Torture, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.


Torture is a serious violation of human rights and is strictly prohibited by international law. As the use of torture strikes at the very heart of civil and political freedoms, it was one of the first issues dealt with by the United Nations (UN) in its development of human rights standards. One of its earliest measures was to abolitish corporal punishment in colonial territories in 1949. International law prohibits torture and other forms of inhuman and degrading treatment, which cannot be accepted under any circumstances.

Despite being stringently outlawed, torture continues to be practiced in a majority of countries round the world. A 2001 report by Amnesty International highlighted the use of torture by 140 states between 1997 and 2001, and found that every year thousands of perpetrators beat, rape and electrocute other human beings.

What is torture?

In the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment torture is defined as

"any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiesance of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity". (Article 1)

Definitions of torture vary slightly between different international treaties but generally cover any act which:
- causes severe pain or suffering;
- is intentionally inflicted on a person;
- is done to obtain informatikon or a confession, punishment for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or to intimidate or coerce him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind; and
- is done at the instigation of, or with the consent or acquiescence of, a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.

The term "torture" encompasses a variety of methods including severe beatings, electric shock, sexual abuse and rape, prolonged solitary confinement, hard labour, near drowning, near suffocation, mutilation, and hanging for prolonged periods.

Although there is no exhaustive list of prohibited acts, international law has made it clear that torture is "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment." In addition to the types of severe pain and suffering mentioned above, torture thus also includes being forced to stand spread eagled against the wall for hours; being subjected to bright lights or blindfolding; being subjected to continuous loud noise; being deprived of sleep, food or drink; being subjected to forced constant standing or crouching; or violent shaking.

Moreover, torture is not limited to acts causing physical pain or injury. It includes acts that cause mental suffering, such as through threats against family or loved ones.

And, regarding human scientific experimentation conducted by governments without the knowledgeable consent of victims, the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment does not contain this provision, although the earlier prohibition against torture in article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights stipulates that "no one shall be subject without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation." The human experiments conducted by the Nazis during World War II would fall under this category.

Whether the definition of torture encompasses judicial corporal punishment (e.g. amputation, branding and various forms of flogging, including whipping and caning) or the death penalty, is a contested issue. Article 1 of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, often refered to as the UN Convention against Torture, excludes "pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions". Some states have used this provision to argue that legally authorized criminal penalties resulting in physical harm do not constitute torture. Moreover, they claim that this wording by its very existence legitimizes the use of the death penalty or corporal punishment. Opponents disagree saying these provisions are without prejudice to other international treaties which safeguard the right to life and the security of a person. In fact, in some cases, international and regional institutions have found that certain forms of corporal punishment do amount to torture or inhuman and degrading treatment.

Rights at Stake

International and regional human rights law protect a number of key rights relating to torture and inhuman or degrading treatment. This includes:

(a) Right to be protected from torture

Liability of the state for torture committed by agents of the state (e.g. police officers, soldiers, prison guards etc.) is clear under international law. Some argue that the state is also responsible for torture carried out by private individuals ("non-state actors") in the form of racist attacks or domestic violence, for example, if it does not do enough to prevent such abuses.

Every state is required to take effective legislative, administrative, judicial, or other measures to prevent acts of torture in its territory. Acts of torture must be offences under criminal law. There is no justification to the use of torture in exceptional situations, e.g. during a state of war, internal political instability, or any other public emergency. Following an order from superior authorities also does not justify torture (UN Convention against Torture, articles 2 and 4).

(b) Duty to prosecute torturers

All governments are responsible for the prosecuting offenders under the international criminal prosecution system that applies to torture. The principle of universal jurisdiction obliges all countries where alleged offenders are found to either extradite those who torture for prosecution by the government that is more directly affected (e.i., the country where the offences were committed, or the country of citizenship of the victims or the abusers), or to initiate prosecution themselves. (See UN Convention against Torture, articles 5, 6, 8).

Unfortunately, successful prosecutions for torture are rare. In some cases this is due to lack of political will and the absence of media and public scrutiny. Governments have been criticized for subjugating the obligation to prosecute to political interests.

In addition, there are often legal obstacles:
- True universal jurisdiction and enforcement may prove problematic as countries incorporate international law into domestic law in different ways, resulting in varying definitions and penalties. (Torture may not be a specific crime in national law or it may be defined too narrowly.)
- Other laws may facilitate the commission of torture, such as incommunicado detention (detention without access to lawyers, doctors, relatives or friends) or laws that allow confessions to be extracted under torture, which are then used as evidence in trials to gain convictions.
- National amnesty laws may shield perpetrators.
- It may be difficult to find evidence. Torturers may hide their identities or choose methods that leave few physical traces. Evidence may be tampered with or destroyed. False reports may be filed. There may be a code of silence preventing people speaking up against colleagues. Or witnesses may be intimidated and threatened with physical or legal retaliation.
- Systems of investigation, prosecution and conviction may be flawed, inefficient or corrupt.

(c) Right not to be expelled, returned or extradited to another state where one may face danger

"No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture". (UN Convention against Torture, article 3)

This article creates an unconditional right of a person not to be expelled, returned or deported to another country where torture is a likely result. Return is prohibited under all circumstances on an unconditional basis, providing there are substantial grounds for believing there would be a danger of torture. This would be determined by taking all relevant considerations into account including whether there is a "consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights".

This creates a stronger provision against refoulement than other instruments, e.g., the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, whereby prevention of refoulement is conditional on establishing persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group. Past actions, e.g. involvement in criminal activity may, be a basis for disqualification under the Refugee Convention, but are not a ground for exclusion under the UN Convention against Torture.

(d) Right of victims to obtain redress, fair compensation, including rehabilitation and the right of victims to make a complaint, to have it impartially investigated, and to be protected from retaliation for making complaints

There are five types of reparation: financial compensation, medical care and rehabilitation, restitution (seeking to restore the victim to his or her previous situation), guarantees of non-repetition, and forms of satisfaction such as restoration of their dignity and reputation and a public acknowledgment of the harm they have suffered (see UN Convention against Torture, article 13, 14).

Key assistance agencies

United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture

The United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture provides humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of torture and their families. The fund depends entirely on voluntary contributions and is administered by the UN Secretary-General with the assistance of a Board of Trustees, which is composed of a chairman and four members with wide experience in the field of human rights. Most funds are spent on finance and rehabilitation with the remainder on training projects to fund medical specialists.

Many other international and national organizations are involved in combating torture and in providing assistance to victims. Links to some such organizations can be found in the Other Resources section below

International and Regional Instruments for Protection and Promotion

International legal instruments take the form of a treaty (also called agreement, convention, or protocol) that binds the contracting states to the negotiated terms. When negotiations are completed, the text of a treaty is established as authentic and definitive and is "signed" by the representatives of states. A state can agree to be bound to a treaty in various ways. The most common are ratification or accession. A new treaty is ratified by those states that have negotiated the instrument. A state that has not participated in the negotiations may, at a later stage, accede to the treaty. The treaty enters into force, or becomes valid, when a pre-determined number of states have ratified or acceded to the treaty.

When a state ratifies or accedes to a treaty, that state may make reservations to one or more articles of the treaty, unless reservations are prohibited by the treaty. Reservations may normally be withdrawn at any time. In some countries, international treaties take precedence over national law; in others a specific law may be required to give a ratified international treaty the force of a national law. Practically all states that have ratified or acceded to an international treaty must issue decrees, change existing laws, or introduce new legislation in order for the treaty to be fully effective on the national territory.

The binding treaties can be used to force governments to respect the treaty provisions that are relevant to the prevention of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment. The non-binding instruments, such as declarations and resolutions, can be used in relevant situations to embarrass governments by negative public exposure; governments who care about their international image may consequently adapt their policies.

The following are the international treaties, declarations and commitments that determine standards for the human right to be be protected from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment:


Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) (article 5)
This fundamental UN human rights document asserts that "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Several provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have become part of customary international law, which means that they are binding on all states, regardless of whether the state is a party to the specific universal or regional instrument. Torture is consequently prohibited by international customary law whether it is committed on a widespread and systematic basis and, therefore, a crime against humanity, or committed against a single victim. The prohibition of torture is also an obligation for the entire international community, which all states have a right to enforce through the exercise of universal jurisdiction over suspects found in their territory.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) (article 7)
This treaty, also known as ICCPR, was adopted by the General Assembly in December 1966 and entered into force in 1976. It elaborates the principles laid out in the UDHR. Torture is prohibited under article 7, which states "no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation." This provision cannot be suspended or limited even in times of emergency.

Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1975)
This declaration was adopted by the General Assembly in December 1975. It contains 12 articles and a definition of torture.

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984)
This is the principal UN treaty concerned with torture. It was adopted by UN General Assembly and came into force in June 1987. It comprises 33 articles covering the rights at stake and the enforcement mechanisms.

The treaty created a Committee Against Torture under article 17. The Committee is composed of ten experts elected for a four-year term. The Committee reviews periodic reports by state parties to the Convention. It is able to invite UN agencies, regional and non-governmental bodies, to submit information.

Under article 20, the Committee also has the power to initiate state visits providing the consent of the state concerned is obtained. All proceedings are confidential and all actions carried out in cooperation with the state concerned. The treaty allows for individual complaints to the Committee under article 22, on the condition that all domestic remedies have been exhausted. This represented an important development in international law at the time as it enabled an individual to file a complaint to an international body about his/her own government. However, the application of this provision is subject to a government making a declaration that it accepts this article. To date, a minority of states have made such a declaration, meaning that most people do not have access to this procedure.

Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (2002)
Under article 2, the Optional Protocol sets up an expert body, a Sub-Committee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of the Committee Against Torture, to carry out inspection visits to places of detention and to submit confidential reports to the relevant authorities on how to prevent torture and ill-treatment. The Protocol also requires states to establish national bodies to make similar visits to places of detention.

Special Rapporteur on Torture
The Special Rapporteur on Torture collects information on legislative and administrative measures taken by governments, responds to concerned raised through an urgent action procedure, carries out consultations and country visits, and reports back to the UN Human Rights Council. Unlike the Committee Against Torture, the mandate extends to all Member and Observer States of the UN and not only those that are parties to the Convention against Torture.

The Special Rapporteur receives communications on violations from organizations and individuals. The Special Rapporteur is able to issue an urgent appeal to prevent imminent violations. Specific allegations are taken up by the Special Rapporteur directly with the government in question. Problems have been reported with the follow-up and some governments have failed to respond to issues taken up by the Special Rapporteur. Wider issues such as persistent reports of impunity or infringements of international human rights law by national legislation are contained in reports of the Special Rapporteur. The Special Rapporteur also carries out country visits for the purpose of obtaining first-hand information.

Principles of Medical Ethics relevant to the Role of Health Personnel, particularly Physicians, in the Protection of Prisoners and Detainees against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1982)
These principles, adopted by the General Assembly in December 1982, oblige medical personnel to protect the physical and mental health of detainees and secondly, prohibits their active or passive engagement in acts of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

A number of UN treaties concerned with the rights of specific groups expressly or implicitly prohibit torture and other forms of inhuman and degrading treatment. Such concerns have therefore been raised with the bodies overseeing the implementation of these treaties:

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) (article 37)
Article 37 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child determines that "no child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" and violations have been registered with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

In addition to children, women are particularly vulnerable to forms of sexual torture including rape, and other forms of sexual violence. Complaints have been lodged with the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women as breaches of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). A Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, passed by the General Assembly in December 1993, explicitly makes reference to the right of women not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (article 3h).

Torture may also be used in a discriminatory fashion and target specific racial groups. In such circumstances it violates the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and can be raised with the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which oversees the implementation of the convention.

The issue of torture is often interwoven with other human rights issues such as detention, arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearances. The occurrence of such human rights violations may make torture more likely. Treaties concerned with these issues are therefore also of relevance when considering torture and inhuman and degrading treatment.

A number of specific codes have been developed on such issues to supplement the general provisions of international human rights law. The Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners were adopted by the first UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders in 1955. They set out general principles but do not go into detail. Rule 31 specifically determines that corporal punishment, punishment by placing in a dark cell and all cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment is absolutely prohibited. A Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials was adopted by the General Assembly in December 1979, which prohibits torture. A Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances was adopted by the General Assembly in December 1992. It recalls other UN treaties and reiterates, in article 1, the right to be protected from torture.

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998) (article 7, 8)
The Rome Statute specifically prohibits torture under various provisions, giving the International Criminal Court jurisdiction in such cases. If torture, defined as "intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or under the control of the accused; except that torture shall not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions" (article 7e) is "committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population", it constitutes a "crime against humanity" (article 7). "Torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments" (article 8.2.a.ii) constitute "war crimes" (article 8).

International humanitarian law

The right to freedom from torture is absolute and includes times of war, as prohibited by the 1949 Geneva Conventions. There is a duty to protect the life, health and safety of civilians and other non-combatants, including soldiers who are captured or who have laid down their arms. Torture of such protected persons is absolutely forbidden. Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions, for example, bans "violence of life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture" as well as "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment."

Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (1949) (article 31)
The use of force to obtain information is specifically prohibited in article 31 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that "no physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons, in particular to obtain information from them or from third parties."

Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (1949) (article 12, 14, 17, 130)
Provisions in the Third Geneva Convention say that prisoners of war "are entitled in all circumstances to respect for their persons and their honour" (article 14) and "must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity" (article 13). Article 17 stipulates that "no physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind." Torture or inhuman treatment of prisoners of war is a grave breach of the Convention (article 130).

Some elements of international humanitarian law have also become part of customary international law. This means that all detainees in wartime are protected by certain minimum safeguards irrespective of their legal status.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I) (1977) (article 75)
Article 75 ("Fundamental Guarantees") of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, which is recognized as restating customary international law, provides that "torture of all kinds, whether physical or mental" against "persons who are in the power of a Party to the conflict and who do not benefit from more favourable treatment under the [Geneva] Conventions," shall "remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever, whether committed by civilian or military agents." "Cruel treatment and torture" of detainees is also prohibited under common article 3 to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which is considered indicative of customary international law.


American Convention on Human Rights (1978) (article 5)
The American Convention stipulates that "no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment or treatment. All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person" (article 5.2).

Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture (1985)
This treaty entered into force in February 1987. It elaborates the obligations of states regarding torture and details provisions similar to those contained in UN Convention against Torture.

National Assistance, Protection and Service Agencies

States that are parties to international treaties are required to implement these at the national level. Many states have failed to implement the international human rights treaties concerning the prevention of torture which they have ratified.

Articles from the UN Convention Against Torture that states have failed to implement include :
- article 4, which ensures that acts of torture are offences under criminal law;
- article 14, which ensures redress and fair and adequate compensation specifically for victims of torture;
- article 10, which ensures appropriate education regarding the prohibition of torture for law enforcement personnel, medical personnel and other persons involved in the detention of a person;
- article 2.1, which requires each state party to take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction. Although this provision is very general, the UN has drawn up a detailed list of measures which should be implemented e.g. a detainee's right to consult a lawyer, the right to be informed of one's rights in a language one understands, the existence of a log-book in each police station which records every action that takes place during custody, the existence of a code of conduct for the police during interrogation, and the existence of formal or informal control mechanisms such as independent complaint bodies and visits of detention.

NGOs play a critical role in monitoring how well their governments are complying with these provisions. Advocacy and lobbying by national and international NGOs working in consort can serve to pressure governments into full compliance.

The regional mechanisms under the Council of Europe provide for particularly strong tool for enforcement. Monitoring of implementation and reporting on violations by NGOs and lawyers remains essential however in making protection from torture a reality.

Lessons learned in the prevention of torture at national level suggest a variety of steps:

* Increase regulation and monitoring of police conduct. This includes:
- Obligating police officers to inform criminal suspects of their rights in detention, e.g., the right to remain silent, right to the presence of an attorney at the interrogation. Failure to give these warning resulting in an exclusion of any confession obtained from the suspect.
- Encouraging police officials to videotape interrogations etc. to demonstrate that their compliance with standards.
- Reducing periods of incommunicado detention and detention by police.
- Making sure a lawyer is present during interrogation as well as a female official for female detainees, and parents or independent representative when a juvenile is being interrogated.

* Increase safeguards during detention.
- Ensure prisoner's right to have a right to telephone an attorney, to correspond with the media, family or others, and to have visits.
- Guarantee a prisoner's right to adequate, effective and meaningful access to the courts;
- Ensure access to prisoners by official bodies (ombudsman, procurator for human rights, etc.) and non-governmental monitoring bodies.

* Use civil rights litigation. A person who suffers torture or other forms of ill-treatment by any governmental official may sue for compensatory damages and punitive damages. In some jurisdictions, it is even possible for victims to sue their torturers for acts committed in other countries e.g. US Alien Tort Statute.

* Use criminal prosecution against torturers. In reality it can be difficult to bring cases against government officials. An unofficial code of silence among colleagues can make it difficult to adduce evidence to bring successful actions.

* Ensure that high-level government authorities condemn torture. This will send a clear message about the unacceptability of torture. Such statements should be accompanied campaigns to raise public awareness about torture.

* Coordinate sharing of information. Governments and NGOs could:
- Establish an international data bank of known torturers.
- Conduct campaigns when known torturers are sent on diplomatic or study missions, so that they will not be admitted into the country to which they have been sent.

Daily violations on human rights ( 17- 23, Dec, 2011)

Daily violations on human rights ( 17- 23, Dec, 2011)


*Zaid Abu Fatiha,
*Muhammad Karaki,
*Mahmud Khaled Rajabi,
*Muhammad Saleh Maragha,
*Ashraf Mustafa Hassan,
*Ala Zeer,
*Wisam Jwijan, ,
*Mahmud Ahmad Barjas,
*Muhammad Nafe Shehada and
*Ihab Fahmi Azzam.


*Saher Khaled Badwan and
*Muhammad Rushdi.


*Sheikh Khader Adnan, Islamic Jihad leader, at the moment on hunger strike
* Kamal Awad,
*Muhammad Mazen Assedi,
*Dawoud Ez-Zubaidi,
*Adnan Ibrahim Nughneghiyah,
*Muhammad Nubani,
*Ahmad Ali Barakat,
*Muhammad Majed Abu Haija,
*Bilal Nader Sedi,
*Muhammad Ibrahim Semmur, and the brothers
*Kamal and Jamil Asad Abu Ghada.


*Muhammad Obaid,
*Hamdi Naim Netsheh,
*Ra’fat Ibrahim Sabarnah,
*Husam Saber Abu Maryah,
*Basem Hamdan Adem,
*Samer Issa Awad,
*Mutez Majed Abu Zurai.


*Omar Jafar Dawabsha and his sister Fatemah,
a student at An-Najah National University.


*Tha’ir Hani Thawabtah,
*Omar Saifi,
*Raghad Abdulhadi Shamroukh, and
* Ibrahim Muhammad Batat.


*Baker Farah Tamimi and child
*Said Mufid Leyan.


*Mohammad Rushdi Amer and
*Salam Qasem Amer.


the Israeli military courts have issued several sentences of administrative detention against:

*Nazih Abu 3on, Hamas leader of Jenin, sentenced 6 months and
*Awadallah Ishteyeh, Hamas leader, of Nablus, sentenced 4 months
the second time respectively for both.
In addition to that, they sentenced
*Abussalam Abu Haija of Jenin for 6 months.
*Muhammad Abu Juhaisha, 56, of Hebron, for 4 months and the second time respectively.
They renewed the adminstrative arrest for the second time against
*Sheikh Anwer Harb of Hebron for 4 months and against prisoner
*Muntaser Abu Qbaiteh, of Hebron, for 6 months.
The court of Ofer Prison have sentenced
*Dr. Adnan Abu Tebaneh, Hamas leader of Hebron, to 6 months of administrative arrest immediately after finishing his original sentence which lasted for 8 months.
The central court of occupied Jerusalem has decided postponing the trial of lawyer
*Shirin Issawi with her two brothers:
*Midhat and
*Ra’fat for the next month.
Ofer court reduced the admin arrest sentence from 6 months to 3 months for the former deputy on Fatah movement,
*Hussam Khedir, of Balata Camp in Nablus.
The Israeli Magistrate’s Court issued sentences against three citizens of Jerusalem:
*Zuhair Khedir Rajbi, sentenced one year of actual imprisonment; his brother, *Fuad, sentenced 7 months and their nephew,
*Faris, sentenced 6 months.

Isolation and Suppression of Prisoners:

Isolated Prisoners for seven days:

*Bassam Abdurrahman Abu Sekir,
*Ali Hassan Soman and
*Hassan Hassanain Shokeh.
The management of Naqab Desert Prison transferred
*Ra’fat Nasif, Hamas leader, from Naqab Prison to Nafha Desert Prison.

The occupation still detains three prisoners of Gaza classified as illegal competent despite the fact that they have finished their sentences.

They are:

*Osameh Hajaj Zerisi,
*Mahmud Kamel Sarsek and
*Seiyd Mustafa Abu Jelaleh.


The Israeli occupation forces released 550 prisoners through Shalit prisoners swap deal.
They released other prisoners including
*Muhammad Khalil Abu Jamous, 29, of Khan Younus, Gaza,
after 4 year imprisonment.
They released
*Huzaifah Jerrar
after 4 months of imprisonment,
*Hamzah Yusuf Kefayah, of Baitoniyah, Ramallah,
after 11 months of imprisonment.

The tragedy of Mahdi

The tragedy of Mahdi

Six months ago Mahdi Abed Latif Amer, 23 years, of Qalqilya was heavily injured with four bullets; two in his legs, one in the abdomen and another one in his chest.
The soldiers opened fire on him, near the eastern entrance of Qalqilya, claiming he was holding a knife for stabbing the soldiers.
After ending the therapy in Ramlah hospital, he was brought to court to get eight ...years in jail.
After his judgement day Mahdi wasn't allowed to get visits from his family.
His father is astonished of preventing the family from visiting Mahdi, who has become disabled and is now using a wheelchair.
Mourtaja, Mahdis brother was killed, in 2001, during confrontations with Israeli occupation soldiers.

The spirit of Palestinian political prisoners will never be broken” !

Prison officers have unleashed a new wave of oppression against prisoners. Letters to families sent by Palestinian political prisoners have ‘disappeared’, writes Ameer Makhoul in a letter to me dated 13 December.
Several prisoners have been confronted with this problem since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced... his plans to impose harsher conditions on Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s prisons in June.

Five 12-page handwritten letters that Ameer sent to his family did not arrive. He writes:

“So Palestinian political prisoners should copy and copy in order to have an alternative in case the letter ‘disappears’. Disappear means lost on the way. But where? The procedure is to keep the envelope open, to be collected as all letters by a Palestinian political prisoners representative [in jail] and brought to the prison authorities. They read it (no matter how personal it is). They close it and send it through to post on account of the prisoners. The letter can take two days, one week, two weeks, one month and can also take all time and still not arrive at the home address. The prison officials’ oral reply to my request for clarification was that they do not do that [provide a clarification]. What they can do is to acknowledge to prisoners that a letter would not be sent for political or security reasons as covered by the law. Through family, lawyers and Members of the Knesset [Israeli parliament] I questioned the postal authorities but there is still no answer from this side. Is there abuse within the post? Does the Shabak (internal Security Agency) have access to control the letters? At what stage? After it has been sent? Last week I got a letter dated 7 December from MK Haneen Zoabi who is very active on the Palestinian political prisoners cause. The envelope was opened (crushed) although by law the prison authorities are not authorized to open letters sent by Members of the Knesset. On the back of the envelope the prison authority wrote: ‘It has been received open by post.’ I believe I will get no answer – neither from the post nor the prison nor the Shabak. But the answer is clear, very clear. By the way the prison authority is not replying or answering in writing. Just orally. While any demand by a prisoner should be in writing. This is the rule. The [Israeli] policy escalation is to disconnect the Palestinian prisoners from the entire world: their families, friends, and solidarity people. The isolation policy is both individual and collective. The system is based on oppression, it is such a huge machine where no one can see all the components and what each component does. But for the prisoners the picture is clear as well as the answer. An international fact-finding mission of human rights organizations could be very useful.”

“The spirit of Palestinian political prisoners will never be broken”, he adds.

source and long needed via electronicintifada

Negev desert prison escalation ....

"we promise to God and promise you that we will not get out of the cells walking on our feets and we will resist it with our bodies and our hearts bare, even if it will make us to Martyrs"

The prison authority installed jamming devices in the prisoners cells, after that the prisoners stopped to coordinate with the authority.

Once more again we have to take and deal with a letter / press release of the prisoners.

Press release issued by the prisoners of the Negev Desert

Us shrouds because we will not get out of the cells on our feet,

O masses of our Palestinian people,
O people of the world we live in a state of uprising
continued on our fundamental rights
and the abuse continued on our right to a dignified life
within the walls of prisons, we are your sons and daughters
The Palestinian prisoners in the Negev desert prison,
living in a state of anticipation and waiting of the impact of looming threats by some guards,
especially after the receipt of the new director is named Ilan _ _
a rose to the prison after being carefully in the torture
of our brothers the prisoners in Prisons,
O breath, and liberals and human rights activists and media people,
O our students in our universities and our schools,
steadfast, all the sons of our people
have the interest of prison administration embarked on the implementation of several episodes
of the series of continuing crimes and threats of our rights the other rings of the most important.
First, starting in the confiscation of our clothes, without regard to the environments of extreme cold in the Negev desert south of occupied Palestine. Second, inspection and humiliating of our people especially our mothers and our wives.
Third: We have reached this aggression peak discharge of the whole sections of the prisoners under the pretext of the existence of "spaces" in the prison
and waving now possible closure of each section of the tents, the objectivity is taken from us and
prevent us from our right to communicate with
our mothers and our fathers and
our wives and our children
and in a further step in the cycle of abuse,
we have the impression that they can implement their crimes silently proceeded by the prison administration, l
ed by the new director (a rose-Ilan)
the installation of jammers.
Against this onslaught, we emphasize the following:
1_ we promise to God and promise you that we will not get out of the cells walking on our feets and we will resist it with our bodies and our hearts bare, even if it will make us to Martyrs
2_ we will not recognize and will not give up our communication with our people and our families at all costs
3_ call all our people for the gift of a mass worthy of antiquity of our people and his interest in the historical whole
4_ call on all leaders and factions of our people to do everything possible to prevent the massacre is expected to commit
5_ call our Egyptian brothers, to activate their role in order to pressure the Israelis to implement the contents of the exchange deal, last regarding the protection of the lives of prisoners and improving their living conditions.
Instead of them rise up and finally we had to provide a real massacre by the administration of the Prison Service at any time.
Do not let our cards open and we promise you to die standing, defend our dignity and honor the children of prisoners in the Negev desert prison.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Between Law and Practice

December 2010

Stop Administrative Detention

This study was written and researched by Addameer Prisoner Support and Human
Rights Association as part of its campaign to stop administrative detention in the
occupied Palestinian territory. It was published through the generous support of the
Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development, the Ministry of Foreign
.Affairs of the Government of Spain and Solidaridad Internacional


The views expressed in this study are those of the authors and do not necessarily express
the positions of the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Spain and Solidaridad Internacional

• Administrative Detention Is an Exceptional Measure
• Administrative Detention Is Not a Substitute for Criminal Prosecution 
• Administrative Detention Must Be Ordered on an Individual Basis 12
• Administrative Detention Must Cease as Soon as the Reasons for it Cease to Exist
• Administrative Detention Must Conform with the Principle of Legality


• The Right to Know the Reasons for Administrative Detention

• The Right to Be Registered and Held in a Recognized Place of Detention 15
• The Right to Be Detained Separately from Sentenced and Pre-trial Prisoners 15
• The Right to Challenge the Lawfulness of Detention 16
• The Right to Have the Lawfulness of Detention Reviewed by an Independent and Impartial
Body 17
• The Right to the Necessary Medical Care and Attention 18
• The Right to Submit Complaints about the Detainee’s Treatment and Conditions of Detention 23


• Separation from Other Prisoners 24
• Clothes 24
• Special Meals 25
• Personal Items 26
• Access to Books and Newspapers 26
• Exemption from Work 28
• Correspondence 28
• Telephone Calls 29
• Pressure and Bargaining 29
• Submitting Complaints 30
• Punishments 33
• Access to Administrative Detainees 33
• Attending Court Hearings 35
• Contact with Family Members through Correspondence and Visits 35


Administrative Detention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Between Law and Practice

The defense and promotion of the rights of administrative detainees has
been a central focus of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights
Association’s (Addameer) legal activities. Addameer has also sought to
expose the ways in which Israel’s use of administrative detention, as a
means of collective punishment and of exacting revenge on Palestinians
in retaliation for exercising their political and civil rights, contravenes the
permitted uses of administrative detention in international law. In March
2009, Addameer notably launched an international advocacy and lobbying
campaign to stop administrative detention and highlight Israel’s illegal
practices in this regard.

This research paper outlines the general principles and procedural
safeguards governing administrative detention in international law with the
aim of revealing the ways in which the Israeli Occupying Forces’ (IOF) use of
administrative detention in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) violates
these provisions. It is a follow up to a legal study conducted by Addameer
in November 2008 on Israel’s policy of administrative detention.1 While
the legal study focused on the basic safeguards governing administrative
detention in international law and Israel’s violations thereof, this research
paper sheds light on the procedural safeguards available to administrative
detainees under international law and in the regulations of the Israeli Prison
Service (IPS),2 in particular IPS Order No. 04/02/00 on “Holding Conditions
for Administrative Detainees”. After comparing international standards with
the regulations of the IPS, it reviews the IPS procedures by which these
safeguards are to be implemented and analyzes the IPS’s application of
these regulations in practice.

1 See Addameer, Administrative Detention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory—A Legal Analysis Report,
November 2008 (available at
final.pdf ).

2 In 2005 the responsibility for the detention of prisoners was transferred from the IOF to the IPS under the
Ministry of Public Security.


Administrative detention is defined as the deprivation of liberty of a person
at the request not of the judiciary but of the executive branch. Under
administration detention, no criminal charges are brought against the
detainee and there is no intention of bringing him or her to trial.

Due to the lack of due process and the risk of abuse in detaining a person
without charge or trial, strict restrictions have been placed on administrative
detention in international law. While international humanitarian law does
allow an Occupying Power to use administrative detention, it can only do
so under explicit and exceptional circumstances. Article 78 of the Fourth
Geneva Convention of 19494 gives an Occupying Power the authority to
take safety measures concerning protected persons (according to the
Convention, inhabitants of the occupied territories are considered to be
“protected persons”), including internment, only for “imperative reasons of
security” and not as a means of punishment. The Israeli authorities, however,
have, as a matter of policy, used administrative detention indiscriminately
and as a means of punishment.

Administrative detention has been an integral part of Israel’s military legal
system throughout the 43 years of occupation of Palestinian territory and
there are no signs that the practice will be discontinued in the near or
distant future. According to testimonies collected by Addameer, detainees
have been held in administrative detention for periods ranging from one
month to as much as six years. The frequency of the use of administrative
detention has fluctuated throughout Israel’s occupation and has been
steadily rising since the outbreak of the Second Intifada in September 2000,
when it has specifically been used as a means of collective punishment
against Palestinians opposing the occupation.

Administrative detention in the oPt is ordered by a military commander
and based on “security reasons”. The security reasons are broad enough to
include non-violent political subversion and virtually any act of resistance
against the Israeli occupation. Detainees are held without trial and neither
they nor their attorneys are allowed to see the “secret evidence” against
them. While detainees may appeal the detention, such a right is rendered
meaningless without access to the information on which the detention
order is based. Israel has therefore made a mockery out of the system of
procedural safeguards in both domestic and international law regarding the
right to freedom and due process.


In 2009, 1,307 administrative detention orders were issued according to
the reports of the military courts in Ofer and Ketziot. This represents a 41
percent decline compared to 2008, when 2,222 orders were issued.

general Principles governing Administrative Detention

The following principles form the general principles governing administrative
detention in international law:

Administrative detention is an exceptional measure

The Fourth Geneva Convention holds that administrative detention is
the most severe form of detention that an Occupying Power can use
against protected persons against whom no criminal proceedings have
been initiated. Recourse to administrative detention is only permissible if
the security of the state makes it “absolutely necessary” (Article 42) or for
“imperative reasons of security” (Article 78).

The exceptional nature of administrative detention lies in the fact that it allows
an authority to deprive persons of their freedom without initiating criminal
proceedings against them, on the basis that they pose a real threat to the security
of the state. Nonetheless, the Convention does not define the concept of “state
security”, leaving it to the Occupying Power to determine what kind of threat can
be considered severe enough to justify administrative detention.
However, there are clear cases in which administrative detention cannot be applied.
For example, detention for the sole purpose of gathering intelligence cannot be justified as long as the person in question does not pose a real threat to the security of the state.
Additionally, internment or administrative detention for the purpose of using the
detainee as a bargaining chip is not justifiable and amounts to hostage-taking.

2. Administrative detention is not a substitute for criminal prosecution
Administrative detention cannot be used as a substitute for a criminal prosecution where there is insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.
A person suspected of committing a criminal offence has the right to enjoy the additional judicial guarantees provided for both in international

3. Administrative detention must be ordered on an individual basis

According to international humanitarian law, collective administrative detention, regardless of the emergency conditions in which it may occur, is illegal.
Furthermore, collective administrative detention of enemy nationals in a state’s own territory is considered to be a form of collective punishment, which is prohibited under article 75 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions.
This does not mean that the occupying power cannot detain a large number of people, but that the decision on internment and any review thereof must be considered individually.

4. Administrative detention must cease as soon as the reasons for it cease to exist
Because of its exceptional nature, administrative detention should only be used in extreme cases to eliminate a present or future threat to state security.

The reason and justification for detention therefore expire as soon as this “danger” ends, as stated in article 132 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and article 75 of the Additional Protocol I.
Indeed, a person who poses a danger today might not pose a danger after conditions on the
ground change. The rationale behind this principle is that no one should be deprived of their freedom indefinitely and the safeguard therefore facilitates the release of detainees as soon as the circumstances justifying the detention expire.

5. Administrative detention must conform with the principle of legality

The principle of legality means that a person may be deprived of liberty only for reasons (substantive aspect) and in accordance with procedures (procedural aspect) that are provided for by local and international law.

The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols provide the international legal standards that are to be applied to administrative detention in armed conflict and other situations of violence.
The Fourth Geneva Convention specifies that a protected person may be interned only if “the security of the Detaining Power makes it absolutely necessary” (Article 42) or for “imperative reasons of security” (Article 78).
The Fourth Geneva Convention also articulates the procedures that must be followed
for internment to be lawful. Article 78, for example, stipulates that decisions regarding internment “shall be made according to a regular procedure to be prescribed by the Occupying Power in accordance with the provisions of the present Convention.”Deprivation of liberty that is not in conformity with the various rules provided for in the Convention may constitute “unlawful confinement” (Article 147).

Procedural Safeguards for Administrative Detention


1. The right to know the reasons for administrative detention

Any person who is administratively detained must be informed promptly of the
reasons for the detention. The information provided must be sufficiently detailed
and must be conveyed in a language he or she understands so as to enable him or
her to challenge the legality of the detention. Where an initial detention decision
is upheld after being reviewed, the reasons for continued detention must also be
provided. This right can be considered as part of the obligation to treat detainees
humanely, as a person’s uncertainty about the reasons for his or her detention
can constitute a source of severe psychological stress.

Although this procedural safeguard is not included in the Fourth Geneva Convention, it is one of the “Fundamental Guarantees” provided for in Article 75 of Additional Protocol I. Additionally, it is also enshrined in most of the relevant human rights treaties, including in Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in the Body of
Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.

The detention of Palestinians by the IOF is carried out on the basis of article
78 of Military Order No. 378 of 1970 on “Security regulations” (Judea and Samaria), as well as subsequent military orders amending that order.
Based on these orders, any Palestinian can be held for eight days without being informed of the reason for his or her arrest and without being brought before a judge on the basis of secret information that neither the detainees nor their lawyers have access to.
The detainee can also be prevented from meeting with his or her lawyer for two days and the IOF is not required to notify the family of the detainee of the reasons for, or the location of, his or her detention.
Thus, it can be concluded that the IOF violate the right of Palestinian detainees to be informed of the reasons for their detention, as provided for in international humanitarian and human
rights law.

2. The right to be registered and held in a recognized place of detention

Any person administratively detained must be registered and held in an officially recognized place of administrative detention.
Humanitarian law applicable to international armed conflicts contains several provisions and
extensive requirements concerning the registration of protected persons deprived of their liberty and notification of their own authorities (Article 136 of the Fourth Geneva Convention), visits to places of detention (Article 143), and transmission of information about such persons to their next of kin (Articles 106, 107, 137 and 138).

Article 1 of IPS Order No. 04/02/00 “Holding Conditions for Administrative
Detainees” holds that an “administrative detainee can only be detained in
the place specified in the administrative detention order issued against him”.
Additionally, Military Order No. 1226 of 1988, as amended by Military Order No.
1591, states that any transfer of the detainee from his or her place of detention must be conditional on the amendment of the administrative detention order by the Minister of Defense, and any amendment should clearly specify the new place of detention.
Yet in 2002 during the Israeli invasion of the West Bank, the provision requiring that the place of detention be listed in administrative detention orders was abolished and has yet to be reinstated.
Furthermore, the IPS regularly transfers administrative detainees from one prison to another
without notifying the Palestinian National Authority.
Administrative detainees are usually informed of their transfer only the night before their transfer and are therefore unable to inform their families.

3. The right to be detained separately from sentenced and pre-trial prisoners

In contradiction to the provisions of Article 84 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and
Article 2 (a) of IPS Order No. 04/02/00, which require that administrative detainees be held separately from sentenced and pre-trial prisoners, the IPS continues to detain administrative detainees in the same sections and wards as sentenced and pre-trial prisoners.

In some wards in Negev Prison, for example, administrative detainees are held in wards for sentenced prisoners and are subjected to IPS regulations designed for security prisoners instead of the regulations applicable to administrative detainees. In Ofer Prison, the IPS even punished detainees after they demanded to be placed in special sections for administrative
Fawzi Qawariq, a 28-year-old administrative detainee, was placed in solitary confinement after making such a request.

4. The right to challenge the lawfulness of detention

This procedural guarantee is related to the administrative detainee’s right to know the reasons for his or her detention.
Administrative detention orders in the oPt are issued by the military commander of the area based on a classified evidence that is not accessible to the detainee or his or her lawyer, thereby undermining the chances of a successful right to appeal the detention order.

Nonetheless, it is important to review the provisions of international humanitarian and human rights law as a measure against which to assess the provisions of Israeli Military Order No. 1226 and its amendments, as well as of the regulations of the IPS, so as to better understand the Israeli military judiciary’s attempts to legitimize its work.

Article 43 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, applicable to international
armed conflicts, stipulates that an “appropriate court or administrative board” shall be charged with reviewing the initial decision to intern a civilian in the territory of a party to the conflict. Under Article 78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, applicable in occupied territory, decisions
on internment must be made “according to a regular procedure to be prescribed by the Occupying Power in accordance with the provisions of the Convention.
This procedure shall include the right of appeal for the parties concerned.
Appeals shall be decided with the least possible delay”.
Article 78 also adds that if the decision is upheld, it should be periodically reviewed, if
possible every six months, by a “competent body set up” by the Occupying Power.

Article 5 (a) of Military Order No. 1226 establishes an Appeals Board charged
with reviewing every appeal and to submit its recommendations on the appeal to the military commander of the area.
Although this appears to conform to international humanitarian law, in practice, reviews of appeals are carried out in contravention of these standards and the relevant military
Appeals are reviewed by a military judge and not by an administrative board or a court as called for in Article 43 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Additionally, these reviews lack the legal procedures that would enable them to achieve their official purpose, which is to decide whether the administrative detainee has been deprived of his or her freedom on proper grounds, and whether he or she should be released.

In practice, the military judge responsible for the judicial review of the administrative detention order does not actually review the detainee’s full classified file, but only a short summary thereof.
Furthermore, the judge is not given the opportunity to verify the allegations of the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) officers responsible for preparing the detainee’s file or ask how the data was obtained.
These practices continue despite a ruling of the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) in the case HCJ 7015/02—Ajuri and others v. Military Commander in the West Bank, which affirmed that Article 78 of Fourth Geneva Convention provides the legal framework for the question
of administrative detention.
Furthermore, the authority that initially issued the administrative detention order and deprived the person of his or her freedom and the body charged with reviewing the appeal should not be the same if the right to petition or appeal is to be effective.
Indeed, the characteristics of the party carrying out the review and the existence of other procedural safeguards are crucial.
In Israel, however, such distinctions are not enforced.
Both military judges and military prosecutors serve in the army and work in the same legal unit within the army. They are also appointed according to the same hierarchical process and, in many cases, move between these positions, with many prosecutors having worked as judges and vice versa.

It is therefore evident that appeals in the Israeli military judicial system lose their significance and cannot play the role laid out for them in international humanitarian law.
However, by providing for basic procedural safeguards in principle, including the right to appeal, and by referring to the provisions of international law, Israel’s military legal regime, seeks to legitimize its illegal use of administrative detention and cover up its policy of collective punishment.

5. The right to have the lawfulness of detention reviewed by an independent and impartial body

The provisions of international humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, allow the Occupying Power to use administrative detention against local residents inaccordance with the provisions of the Convention.
Although Israel refuses to accept the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the oPt, it still tries to legitimize its policies by referring to the rights of the Occupying Power provided for in the Convention.

As discussed above, according to Article 78 applicable in occupied territory,
a decision on internment must be made pursuant to a “regular procedure”
prescribed by the Occupying Power in accordance with the Convention. Article 78 adds that the periodic review of such a decision must be undertaken by a “competent body set up” by the Occupying Power.
Article 43 on the other hand stipulates that an “appropriate court or administrative board”
shall be in charge of reviewing the initial internment decision. Despite the difference in language, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) commentary on Article 78 states that the Occupying Power “must observe the stipulations in Article 43” and that it is up to the Occupying Power “to entrust the consideration of appeals either to a ‘court’ or a ‘board’.”

A state’s freedom to choose between a “court or administrative board” is explained
in the commentary as allowing “sufficient flexibility to take into account the
usage in different States”. The commentary adds that “where the decision is an
administrative one, it must not be made by one official but by an administrative
board offering the necessary guarantees of independence and impartiality.”

6. The right to the necessary medical care and attention

The right to medical care and attention is a component of the essential obligation that all persons deprived of their liberty must be treated humanely.
The general rule laid down in Article 81 of the Fourth Geneva Convention stipulates that: “Parties to the conflict who intern protected persons shall be bound to provide free of charge for their maintenance, and to grant them also the medical attention required by their state of health.”
More specific rules on hygiene and medical attention are included in Articles 91 and 92.14
detainees can receive the medical care that they need and follow a suitable diet;
special treatment for maternity cases and detainees with serious diseases requiring special treatment, surgery or hospitalization; where possible treatment should be administered by doctors of the same nationality as the detainee; detainees should not be prevented from visiting the competent medical authorities; detainees have the right to receive an official certificate stating the nature of their disease or injury, the period of treatment and care provided to them;
treatment of detainees, along with any other vital surgery should be free of charge.

Some of these rules stated in Article 92 provide that detainees are entitled to a medical examination at least once a month in order to monitor their general state of health, nutrition and cleanliness, and to detect contagious diseases. Such inspections include a radioscopic examination at least once a year.

6.1 The right to medical care and treatment in the IPS regulations Article 8 of IPS Order No. 04/02/00 recognizes the right of administrative detainees to medical care, but this right is limited to the following provisions:

a) An administrative detainee is examined by the prison doctor
once a month, and at any time when the need arises for such
an examination.

b) An administrative detainee is entitled to receive medical care
and equipment based on his health condition and on the
regulations applicable in the prison.

6.2 The right to medical care and treatment in practice
Like all other prisoners, administrative detainees suffer from
unhealthy detention conditions. These conditions lead to a number
of diseases that are exacerbated by the IPS’s deliberate policy of
medical negligence toward Palestinian prisoners, a policy that has
led to the deaths of more than 196 prisoners over the years.

The location and architecture of the prisons are among the
issues that the detaining authority should focus on to ensure
that detainees are held in humane conditions. As previously
mentioned, however, administration detention orders no longer
specify the location of detention, leaving the decision up to the
IPS, which often chooses to exacerbate the detainee’s punishment
by holding him or her far away from his or her area of residence.
The IPS also ignores the health conditions of the detainees when
deciding where to hold them.

Case Study 1
name: Ali Abdul Rahman Mahmoud Jaradat

Date of birth: 3/7/1955
marital status: Married and father of an 18-year old daughter named Saja and a 15-year old son named Basil.
Date of detention: 22/4/2008
Place of detention: Several prisons

Detention and health condition:

The writer and journalist Ali Jaradat spent a total of 11 years in administrative
detention over several periods of time, a matter that led to the deterioration
of his health. During his detention in Ofer prison on 5/3/2004, Jaradat
suffered from an angina as a result of obstruction in his coronary arteries,
following which he underwent a coronary catheterization to implant a stent
in his coronary artery.

The latest detention and medical negligence:

During his most recent period of administrative detention in April 2008,
Jaradat, in addition to the danger of experiencing another angina, suffered
from several health conditions, including high blood pressure and diabetes.
Despite the prison administration’s prior knowledge of the prisoner’s
precarious health condition, it decided to detain him in prisons that were
not located close to hospitals.

On 11/5/2009 Jaradat was transferred from Ofer prison, which is located
near Ramallah, his hometown, to Ketziot Prison in the Negev Desert. After
the prison doctor reviewed his medical file, he refused to admit him to the
prison because of the long distance between the prison and the IPS’s closest

After spending one night in Ketziot Prison, Jaradat was transferred to
Eshel Prison near Beersheba hospital. After spending four months at Eshel
Prison, the IPS decided, on 13/9/2009, to return Jaradat to Ketziot Prison,
but the prison doctor again strongly objected to his admission because of
concerns about the possible deterioration of his health and the difficulty of
transporting him quickly to the nearest hospital in case of emergency.

Following a week-long detention at Ketziot Prison, Jaradat was transferred to

the Ohal Keidar prison for three weeks, before being returned to Eshel Prison;
the circumstances reflect the IPS’s willingness to worsen administrative
detainees’ suffering by adopting a policy of regular transfers that inevitably
exacerbate their health condition.

Jaradat recounts: “Besides the harm caused by the transfer, especially in light
of my health condition, the most dangerous thing is my detention in prisons
that exacerbate my health condition, as diabetes, blood pressure and heart
diseases require regular walking for long periods, which is what I could do in
Ofer Prison, where ventilation is better and tents are open to the yard all the
time, unlike other prisons like Eshel, Nafha, Ketziot and Ohal Keidar.”

The policy of medical negligence adopted by the IPS against administrative
detainees takes several forms. In the first 18 months of his detention, Jaradat
was not allowed to receive the medical examination necessary to monitor
his health condition, such as an echocardiogram and other cardiac tests,
blood sugar tests, and regular examinations to check on the stent implant
in his coronary.

Jaradat suffered difficult detention conditions as a result of the deterioration
in his health and his repeated transfers between several prisons and courts.
Furthermore, throughout his detention in Eshel and Ohal Keidar prisons,
Jaradat did not enjoy the rights he was entitled to as an administrative
detainee. His wife was not allowed to visit him, and he was prevented from
practicing his work as a writer and journalist as he was not allowed to have
books for reading or writing.

Case Study 2
name: Isam Rashid Ashqar
Date and place of birth: 10/6/1958, Saida village in Tulkarem district.
Place of residence: Nablus
Profession: Physics Professor at the Najah National University
Date of detention: 17/3/2009
Place of detention: Megiddo prison

health condition:

For two years, Dr. Ashqar has been suffering from high blood pressure, rapid
heart rate and atherosclerosis in the kidneys. As a result, prison doctors
recommended surgery for his atherosclerosis. Following such an operation
and in order for the surgery to be successful, a patient needs time to recover.
Since these conditions are not provided in prison, Dr. Ashqar refused to
undergo the surgery preferring to regularly take medication and visit the
prison doctor.

Prisoner transfer:

In light of his health condition, the prison doctor recommended that Dr.
Ashqar be transported in a private car to avoid running the risk of increasing
his blood pressure. Additionally, his health condition advises against
confining him in an enclosed and crowded place full of cigarette smoke,
which is the case in the prisoner transfer vehicles used by the Nahshon
forces in charge of prisoner transfers.

The Nahshon forces refused to respect the prison doctor’s recommendations
and used a private car to transport Dr. Ashqar only from Megiddo Prison to
Al Jalameh Detention Center. From there, he was transferred to the regular
transfer vehicle.

Dr. Ashqar describes his tedious transfer journey, saying: “All the way, the
Nahshon refused to allow me to use the toilet, which made the journey more
difficult. The next morning, they took me to Ofer court before returning me
to Ramleh Prison at 7 p.m. If the court session is scheduled in the middle of
the week, we are transferred back to the prison where we are detained the
day after our court hearing. If the session is on Thursday or Sunday, however,

the detainee has to spend up to three nights in the Ramleh transit prison,
before being taken back to the prison where he or she is detained.”

The return journey is not any better, says Dr. Ashqar, adding “The journey starts
at 6 a.m., when we are subjected to a difficult body search. Our belongings
are searched in detail and we face insults and degrading treatment by the
Nahshon forces. The transfer vehicle first goes to Hadarim Prison, then Atlit
Prison15 before arriving at Damon prison and then Al Jalameh Prison, where
the escort patrol is changed. Then, we continue our journey to Harmoun
prison, Shatta Prison, and finally Gilboa Prison before returning to Megiddo
Prison; that is because the transfer route makes Megiddo Prison the last
stop. At each of the aforementioned prison stops, the waiting period ranges
from half an hour to one hour, during which time they refuse to allow me
or any of the other detainees to exit the vehicle to use the toilet, except in
Al Jalameh Prison, where the Nahshon forces sometimes arbitrarily select
2-6 detainees from those who asked to go to the toilet, and other times
prevent all detainees from using the toilet. That is the way they treat me
when transferring me despite the doctor’s medical recommendation. They
endanger my life as they do not care for the detainees’ rights enshrined in
the regulations”.

7. The right to submit complaints about the detainee’s treatment
and conditions of detention Article 101 of the Fourth Geneva Convention provides for the right of administrative detainees to make submissions to the detaining authority regarding the treatment they receive and their detention conditions.

The purpose of this safeguard is to enable the detaining authority to prevent
and stop possible violations against the rights of administrative detainees. It
therefore requires the detaining authority to put in place a procedure that
allows the submission and speedy and effective examination of complaints
and petitions. The submission of such complaints must not have any adverse
consequences for the petitioner.

23 Procedures governing Administrative Detention in the Regulations of the Israeli Prison Service

After reviewing the general principles governing administrative detention
and the procedural safeguards provided in the Fourth Geneva Convention,
it is important to review the procedures dictated by the IPS regulations
regarding administrative detention, in particular IPS Order No. 04/02/00,
as this can contribute to a better understanding of the IOF’s practice and

1. Separation from other prisoners

Although Article 2 of IPS Order No. 04/02/00 stipulates that administrative
detainees must be detained separately from other convicted and pre-trial
prisoners, in practice this has not always been applied. The IPS recently
stopped reserving specific prison sections for administrative detainees in
Ketziot Prison and administrative detainees are now held in the same wards
and conditions as other prisoners. Administrative detainees in Ofer Prison
and female administrative detainees in HaSharon Prison are in the same

2. Clothes

While the IPS distributes uniforms to convicted prisoners, Article 5 of IPS Order
No. 04/02/00 establishes the right of administrative detainees to wear their
own clothes as long as it does not harm their health or the good order of the
prison. Testimonies from Ofer Prison, however, indicate that administrative
detainees are made to wear prison uniforms when transferred between
prisons, when transported to and from the military court, and sometimes
even when meeting with their lawyers. These administrative detainees are
therefore only allowed to wear their own clothes in their wards and cells.

The IPS is also known to prevent detainees’ families from bringing clothes
during visits. Despite the fact that, according to the IPS’s regulations on
security prisoners, detainees are allowed to receive clothes from their family

once every three months, the IPS regularly prevents the entry of clothes
under such pretexts as their non-conformity with the IPS standards. Families,
however, are never informed, whether in writing or verbally, of the standards
in place regarding quality and color of clothes. In a testimony given to an
Addameer lawyer, administrative detainee Majeda Fidda revealed that
she and other detainees were prevented from receiving clothes from their
families for a period of six months, without being given any explanation for
the decision by the prison administration.

Based on prisoner testimonies that were commissioned for this paper, it is
also evident that the IPS, with the aim of increasing the detainee’s families’
financial burden, does not allow administrative detainees to receive shoes
from their families during visits, and instead requires them to buy them from
the prison canteen at high prices ranging from NIS 250-500 (approximately
US$ 70-130).

3. Special meals

Article 6 of IPS Order No. 04/02/00 explicitly states that administrative
detainees must be provided food of an identical quality to that served to
the prison guards. Nonetheless, the reality is different, not least because
administrative detainees are not detained in special wards as required by
IPS regulations.

At Ketziot Prison, administrative detainees are served meals similar to those
served to convicted prisoners and not to those served to the prison guards.
Prisoners’ testimonies indicate that the meals are insufficient and do not
provide the necessary nutritional balance as they lack proteins. This forces
administrative detainees to buy approximately 85 percent of their food
from the canteen. Furthermore, only civilian prisoners are now allowed to
prepare their own food, with security and administrative detainees barred
from such basic privileges.

In Ofer Prison, administrative detainees endure detention conditions not
very different from those of administrative detainees in Ketziot Prison in
terms of quality and quantity of meals, except that the prison administration
allows them to prepare their own food.

Majeda Fidda explained that the prison administration prevents female
administrative detainees from using metal or glass kitchenware to prepare
or eat their food, forcing them to use plastic spoons that melt when cooking.

4. Personal items

Article 10 of IPS Order No. 04/02/00 establishes the right of administrative
detainees to receive necessary personal items, as long as they are not
prohibited by IPS Order 03/33/00. In reality, administrative detainees are
prevented from receiving many necessary products from outside the prison,
including those required for their medical needs, as discussed above in the
section on the right to health.

Article 10 (b) further states that administrative detainees shall be provided
with basic toiletries when entering prison. Nonetheless, administrative
detainees in Ketziot, Ofer and Megiddo prisons are deprived of this right.

Sometimes, detainees are unable to buy products to this end because
they do not have canteen accounts, particularly during the first period of
administrative detention.

As for detergents to clean the rooms and wards, administrative detainees
have noted that prison administrations have drastically decreased the
monthly allowances of detergents provided to them, forcing them to buy
such products from the canteen.

Fathi al-Hayek, held in administrative detention since 28/11/2006, told an
Addameer lawyer who visited him at Ketziot Prison on 27/10/2009, that
when the Israeli army was responsible for the detention of prisoners, the
prison administration used to supply all basic toiletries. The current prison
administration, however, had stopped supplying hand soap, shaving cream and
toothpaste four months before the lawyer’s visit, although detergents were still
available. Basic toiletries were therefore paid for by the detainees themselves,
while products needed to clean the prison were provided by the prison
administration, which supplied these products once a month in insufficient
quality and quality (the amount provided covered only 20 percent of the
detainees’ needs and the rest had to be bought by the detainees themselves).

5. Access to books and newspapers
Article 10 (d) of IPS Order No. 04/05/00 on the rights of administrative
detainees to access books, newspapers and recreational activities
states that detainees have the right to receive newspapers and books.
Administrative detainees in particular assign great significance to reading
books and local and international newspapers so as to fully utilize their
time in detention.

The IPS allows some detainees to receive the Jerusalemite Al Quds newspaper,
“provided that they are not Hamas detainees”.Some detainees are allowed
to subscribe to some Hebrew or English language Israeli newspapers based
on the prison administration’s evaluation of the prisoner’s behavior. The
prisoner is expected to pay for the annual subscription, which amounts to
NIS 600 (approximately US$ 150) and even then, newspapers usually arrive
two weeks late.

The IPS effectively wages a constant war on the detainees’ right to read.
Testimonies from Ketziot Prison indicate that the prison administration
imposes tough restrictions on the entry of books, including on detainees’
applications to receive books, under the usual pretext of security concerns.

Administrative detainee Abd Al-Jaber Al-Fuqaha, held since 7/5/2007, told
an Addameer lawyer during his visit in Ketziot prison on 12/10/2009 that
the prison administration refuses to allow books to enter 99 percent of the
time, and that he personally was only able to receive four books throughout
his period of detention, regardless of their content. This policy appears
inconsistent with the provisions of IPS Order No. 04/05/00, which holds that
the prison security officer or another prison official should decide on a set
list of books that are allowed into the prison.

In Ofer Prison, administrative detainees were prevented from receiving
books through family visits throughout 2009. The only way for the detainees
to read and study was through the ICRC’s initiative to bring 200 books into
the prison in June 2009.

The IPS’s policy in practice contradicts its own regulations on the rights
of administrative detainees, including IPS Order No. 04/05/00. Article 2

(d) of that order states that detainees can buy books and magazines that
are not prohibited in Article 2 (c), which bans pornography, anti-Semitic
publications and publications opposing or insulting religions. Permitted
publications must meet the following conditions:
..Books or magazines printed and published in Israel.

..Books or magazines printed and published abroad or in the “Judea,
Samaria or Gaza areas”, the circulation of which has not been
prohibited by the prison security officer.

Article 1 of Order No. 04/05/00 allows for the establishment of libraries in the
prisons to enable detainees to borrow books, and further provides for the
detainees’ right to buy books from outside the prison. Article 6 also allows
the ICRC to provide books to the libraries of prisons where detainees from
the oPt are held, after examination by the IPS.

6. exemption from work

According to Article 11 of IPS Order No. 04/02/00, administrative detainees
are exempted from doing any work except for keeping their beds and cells
orderly. However, the IPS’s disregard for the basic rights of administrative
detainees, including the right to be detained separately from other
prisoners, results in the violation this exemption. In practice, administrative
detainees are forced to take part in the cleaning of the prison yards without
any remuneration, just like other prisoners. Some also have to wash their
own laundry, as some prisons like Ketziot Prison lack washing machines.

7. Correspondence

Article 16 of IPS Order No. 04/02/00 states that an administrative detainee
has the right to send four letters and four postcards every month. Letters to
state authorities and the detainee’s lawyer are not included in this number.

The IPS regulations, however, give the prison director or prison security
officer the right to prevent detainees from enjoying this right on “security”
grounds, without elaborating on what these may be. Furthermore, the prison
director may refuse to send or deliver the detainee’s correspondence for
reasons of national security without notifying the detainee of that decision.
The IPS’s policy therefore renders the right of detainees to communicate
with the outside world meaningless.

Administrative detainee Majeda Fidda told an Addameer lawyer that the
prison administration does not deliver solidarity letters written to her by
activists in coordination with Addameer. Other testimonies indicate that
detainees do not trust the IPS to respect the privacy of their correspondence
and are even wary of taking advantage of their right to send and receive
letters out of concern that Israeli intelligence might use any information in
the correspondence to harm the detainees or their relatives. These concerns
are not totally baseless as the IPS is entitled to examine any correspondence
and prison guards have in the past read letters out loud in front of other
detainees in order to humiliate the recipient or sender.

8. Telephone calls

Article 17 of IPS Order No. 04/02/00 provides for the right of administrative
detainees to make telephone calls based on Order No. 03/02/00 “Regulations
on Security Prisoners”. According to Article 19 of that order, as a general rule,
security prisoners are not allowed to use telephones, with the exception
of prisoners meeting the conditions outlined in Article 4 (b) and (b) ,
which address the need to hold security prisoners and detainees separately
from other prisoners. These conditions state that:

..The detainee should not be a member of an enemy organization, have
contributed to an offence committed by an enemy organization, or
have already spent a third of his or her sentence (or ten years in prison,
whichever comes first), subject to the Internal Security Service’s (ISS)
determination that the detainee has severed all direct and indirect
contact with the enemy organization.

..The ISS has determined that the detainee does not pose a danger to
national security even when the detainee is not detained in solitary
confinement or when no special limitations are imposed on him or

Since security detainees are generally not allowed to make telephone
calls, the inclusion of this right in the IPS regulations on administrative
detainees can be seen as evidence that the regulations were devised to
take into account the possibility of Israelis being held in administrative
detention (which happens very rarely). Furthermore, it should be noted that
conditioning permission for an administrative detainee to make telephone
calls on an ISS evaluation can only further the interests of two groups: Israeli
prisoners and security prisoners collaborating with ISS agents.

9. Pressure and bargaining

In 2009, the Megiddo Prison administration attempted to trick one of the
detainees into ceding his rights as an administrative detainee.
Ghassan Ibrahim Hamdan told an Addameer lawyer what happened:

“On 28/6/2009, they took me from Ofer to Megiddo Prison and immediately
placed me in one of the cells for sentenced prisoners without telling me
why. The officer told me that another officer named Mark would visit me
the next day to explain the matter. On the fourth day in that cell, “Mark”
came and told me that I was placed in that cell because there was no room

for me in the administrative detainees’ section. He suggested that I go to
the sentenced prisoners’ section and sign a written commitment agreeing
to receive the same treatment as other prisoners instead of the treatment
reserved for administrative detainees. Although I refused to sign, they
put me in ward 6 instead of ward 3, which is reserved for administrative

The following days, I continued to wear my personal clothes. When a security
officer wearing the IPS uniform objected to this, I refused to change clothes
and told him that I was an administrative detainee and they did not have
the right to object. When I realized that they did not want to grant me my
rights as an administrative detainee, I persisted. Following my return from
a court session in Ofer, they placed me in ward 3 with other administrative
detainees who had been transferred from Ketziot Prison as a punishment.

In ward 3, our detention conditions as administrative detainees were better,
and we were less dependent on the canteen than in other wards and
prisons. I only bought cigarettes between family visits. However, we were
not allowed to communicate with the other administrative detainees on the

10. Submitting complaints

IPS Order No. 04/02/00 does not address the issue of administrative
detainees’ right to submit complaints. However, the rights of administrative
detainees in this regard can be inferred from the rights accorded to security
prisoners in IPS regulations, which uphold the right to submit complaints.17

In practice, the IPS regularly violates administrative detainees’right to submit
complaints, a policy that is in line with Israel’s excessive use of administrative
detention orders and its ultimate goal of breaking the detainees’ will. A
review of the IPS’s regulations and of prisoner testimonies reveals the
extent to which IPS policy in practice in this regard takes precedence over
its regulations.

Administrative detainee Nawaf Sawarka, detained since 20/8/2008, told
an Addameer lawyer during his visit on 18/11/2009 to Ketziot Prison
that administrative detainees submit many complaints to the prison
administration, but these are in vain since the administration automatically
refuses to respond to their complaints and objections. He added that the
administration imposes restrictions on the procedural details of submitting
complaints and objections. For instance, the administration requires that
complaints be written in Hebrew. It then takes a long time to respond to the
complaints and usually rejects them, with the aim of forcing detainees to
give up their demands.

One of the channels that administrative detainees may use to submit
grievances about their detention conditions or any deprivation of their rights
as administrative detainees is a petition to the Israeli HCJ. The IPS, however,
complicates the detainees’ access to this channel by requiring petitioners to
pay NIS 80 (US$ 23) in fees deducted from their personal canteen account.

Case Study 3

name: Loai Sati Mohammad Ashqar

Residence before arrest: Saida, Tulkarem

Date of birth: 14/12/1976

Profession: Aluminum light-structures designer and maker

marital status: Married with one child

Date of arrest: Sent to administrative detention on 9/4/2008

Place of detention: Megiddo Prison Section 9

Mr. Ashqar submitted an application to move to a room on the ground floor,
which is reserved for convicted prisoners, where he would have easier access
to the prison’s facilities. Mr. Ashqar’s left leg is completely paralyzed as a
result of being tortured during interrogation in 2005 at Kishon Interrogation
Center, and he is therefore wheelchair bound.

Mr. Ashqar, like all other detainees, endures difficult detention conditions,
which are exacerbated by his injury and poor health condition. This has led
him to write 16 complaints and objections to the prison director. “The ward
officers told the detainees that they aren’t afraid of petitions filed against
them, but rather they encourage detainees to write them”.

Of the 16 complaints and objections, the IPS has only reviewed one of them,
a process that took five months (it was filed in May 2009 and only processed
for investigation in November 2009). The petition was filed against a prison
guard who beat Mr. Ashqar in an attempt to force him to use the stairs
despite his paralysis.

The prison administration tried to use Mr. Ashqar’s application to be moved
to the ground floor as a bargaining chip to make him give up his rights as
an administrative detainee. Mr. Ashqar, however, refused to bargain over his
rights as an administrative detainee, including his right to receive humane
treatment and to be held in conditions suitable to his health conditions,
which were caused by Israeli military interrogators in the first place. As
a result of Mr. Ashqar’s refusal to compromise on his rights, the prison
intelligence closed his canteen account in an attempt to prevent him from
practicing his right to file a petition to the HCJ, as the prison regulations
stipulate that the petitioner must pay the fees from his personal canteen account.

11. Punishments

Administrative detainees can be subject to several forms of disciplinary
punishments, including:

..Fines ranging from NIS 200-450 (approximately US$ 50-120).

..Solitary confinement in cells.

..Deprivation of continuing their university education.

..Transfer from prison to prison.

..Deprivation of family visits.

..Deprivation of certain rights; such as closing the detainee’s canteen

The IPS does not hesitate to impose a range of penalties against the
detainee for one single violation, which contradicts the basic and procedural
safeguards for the detainees and constitutes a violation of the provisions
enshrined in the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Administrative detainee Salim Ayesh, held in Ketziot Prison, recounts: “The
prison administration does not respect the rights of administrative detainees
and does not treat them according to the provisions of international
humanitarian law. On the contrary, it imposes a number of penalties on them
just for being late at the roll call. Penalties include solitary confinement and
fines ranging from NIS 200-400. This could happen more than once in one
month for a single detainee, even though late arrival at the roll call may just
be the result of the detainee’s poor health.”

12. Access to administrative detainees

Article 143 of the Fourth Geneva Convention stipulates that representatives
of the ICRC have permission to visit detainees in their places of detention
and shall have “access to all premises occupied by protected persons”.

Although IPS Order No. 04/02/00 does not discuss the visits of ICRC
representatives IPS Order No. 03/02/00 “Regulations on Security Prisoners”
stipulates that ICRC representative visits are to be conducted based on IPS
Order No. 03/11/00.

The testimonies of a number of administrative detainees, however, reveal
that these detainees have not received any visits from ICRC representatives

throughout their detention. The continued difficult conditions faced by
administrative detainees, as a result of the IPS’s systematic violation of
their rights, reveal that the decades-long ICRC representative visits have
not succeeded in making the IPS take up its responsibilities as required by
international humanitarian law and its own regulations.

As for lawyers’ visits to administrative detainees, Article 15 of IPS Order No.
04/02/00, which is in line with IPS Order No. 00/34/04 regarding lawyers’
visits to security prisoners, states that they may be conducted from behind
a glass separation. Only in exceptional cases are lawyers allowed to visit
detainees without a glass separation and to bring with them documents
and stationary.

A number of restrictions prevent lawyers from carrying out their duties. The
prison administration is notably reluctant to provide the required facilities
for lawyers to take notes while meeting with their clients. Meetings are
carried out from behind a glass separation and lawyers and detainees must
talk to each other through a telephone. Lawyers only have a 15 cm-wide
stone ledge as support for writing their notes.18

Prison directors have never used their prerogative to allow lawyers to meet
with detainees without a glass separation. On the contrary, prison directors
order their staff to be firm in dealing with the lawyers by preventing
them from providing the detainee with any written documents, including
documents relating to their own cases.

Additionally, administrative detainees are kept handcuffed when leaving
their room to meet the lawyers and when they arrive in the meeting room,
their legs are chained instead. During lawyers’ visits, detainees are not
allowed to use any stationary or paper, which prevents them from writing
down any information and negatively affects the proceedings and purpose
of the visit.

In an attempt to discourage detainees from contacting their lawyers,
the Ketziot and Megiddo prison administrations, where a majority of
administrative detainees are detained, make detainees wait for as much as
four or even five hours before allowing them to meet with their lawyers,
despite the fact that lawyers coordinate their visits and arrival times with the
prison administration a few days in advance. Furthermore, detainees are not
allowed to return to their rooms until all other detainees have met with their
lawyers. They therefore often spend more than eight hours in the waiting
room. This constitutes a form of physical and psychological pressure, which
is used to pressure detainees into ceding their rights.

13. Attending court hearings

An administrative detainee and his or her lawyer should be able to be
present at the initial review of the lawfulness of detention, as well as at
periodical reviews. The aim of this safeguard is to be able to present the
administrative detainee’s position and contest the claims made against
him or her. Although the Fourth Geneva Convention does not explicitly
provide for this right, its absence in practice often leads to a violation of
the convention’s goal of protecting detainees and preventing arbitrary detention.

In the Israeli military legal system, detainees and their lawyers can attend
court hearings reviewing administrative detention orders, but their
attendance is rendered meaningless because they are not permitted to see
the secret evidence submitted to the judge by the ISA and on which the
detention orders are based.

In most cases, the detainees’ very attendance at the judicial review sessions
can be a source of anguish because their families are not allowed to attend
these hearings. Furthermore, detainees have to be transported from their
prison several days before the hearing in inhuman conditions to attend the
sessions, which are held at Ofer Prison near Ramallah.

Israel therefore not only renders the implementation of this safeguard
meaningless but also manages to turn it into an additional burden that
exacerbates the detainees’ already harsh detention conditions, a situation
that puts the necessity of the detainees’ attendance at these hearings into

14. Contact with family members through correspondence and visits

14.1 Stipulations of the fourth Geneva Convention

The preservation of family life is one of the basic aims of international
humanitarian law and forms part of the broader commitment to treating
persons humanely. In the case of detainees, the right to communicate with family members and receive visits from them is aimed at ensuring proper conditions and treatment in detention.

Articles 106, 107 and 116 of the Fourth Geneva Convention contain
provisions designed to facilitate communication between detainees and
their families through correspondence and visits within a reasonable
time frame, with exceptions provided only in very exceptional cases. In
no case may the enjoyment of this right be contingent on the level of
the detainee’s cooperation with the detaining authority or be used as
an incentive or reward for any other behavior.

14.2 Stipulations in IPS Order no. 04/02/00

According to IPS Order No. 04/02/00, an administrative detainee is
allowed to receive family visits once every two weeks for a half an hour.
These visits are limited to immediate relatives: parents, grandparents,
spouses, children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters. Although Article
13 (d) states that the number of visitors should not exceed three per
visit, the regulation authorizes the prison director to increase the
number of visitors, allow individuals other than immediate relatives to
visit the administrative detainee and increase the duration of visits. It
is also within the prison director’s prerogative to require the presence
of guards during visits for security reasons, and the prison guard, in
turn, has the right to stop the visit, if he deems it necessary for security
concerns. Administrative detainees have the right to appeal the guard’s
decision to the prison director in writing.

One of the administrative detainees interviewed for this paper says
that he submitted a petition to the Ketziot Prison administration
calling on them to allow him to receive 30-minute visits every week.
The administration replied that although administrative detainees
have the right to have 30-minute visits every week, the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) cannot arrange for weekly visits, and
thus, detainees are allowed 45-minute visits every two weeks. When
contacted, the ICRC confirmed that it does not have the capacity to
organize weekly bus transportation for the families of detainees and
has therefore asked the prison administration to extend the family visits
to one hour every two weeks. The administration refused however, and
ultimately visits were extended only to 45 minutes every two weeks.

14.3 Preventing visits in the IPS regulations

Article 14 (a) of IPS Order No. 04/02/00 gives the prison director the
authority to refuse certain visits for national security reasons, but only
in writing and on the condition of notifying the administrative detainee.
Furthermore, the decision should be reviewed by the director every two
months to ensure that the security reasons still apply. The administrative
detainee has the right to appeal the decision to the Minister of Defense
or someone appointed by the Minister.

14.4 Preventing visits in practice

In practice, most administrative detainees are allowed to receive family
visits once every two weeks for 45 minutes. These visits are conducted
simultaneously for large groups of approximately 40 detainees, causing
problems of overcrowding. In the past, the detainee and the visitors
were separated by iron bars during visits, but in 2004, the IPS replaced
this with a glass window, with detainees having to use a phone to speak
with their visitors. As a result of the noise and the overcrowding, it is
difficult for the detainees and their families to hear each other.

In preparation for this research paper, a team of lawyers visited 20
administrative detainees in different prisons. The questionnaire used
to evaluate the situation of the detainees revealed that 15 out of the
20 administrative detainees, or 75 percent of them, are prevented from
receiving visits from their immediate relatives.

It is also worth mentioning that, contrary to the requirements of Article
14 of IPS Order No. 04/02/00, the decision to prohibit visits is not always
ordered by the prison director, but also by the Israeli Civil Administration
in the oPt.

The answers to the questionnaire indicate that the military apparatus
prevent relatives, mainly wives and mothers, from visiting administrative
detainees by denying them permission to enter the 1948 territories,
where Israeli prisons are located, on the basis of “security concerns”.

In addition, as is the case for all families of prisoners, the journey
undertaken to visit relatives in administrative detention is long and
difficult, with family members enduring insults and delays at the prison
checkpoints and gates.

38 Conclusion

It is clear when reviewing the IPS regulations governing the detention
conditions of administrative detainees and comparing them to the IPS’s actual
practice that Palestinian administrative detainees are systematically subjected
to serious abuses and violations. Israel’s use of administrative detention in the
oPt is in line neither with the provisions of international humanitarian law nor
with its own military orders. Furthermore, the IPS’s practice of ignoring the
rights of Palestinian administrative detainees enshrined in its own regulations
appears to be a systematic and deliberate policy.

Administrative detention is distinctive from other forms of detention because it
deprives detainees of the safeguards of a fair trial and is initiated by the executive
and not the judicial branch. The fact that administrative detainees are also deprived
of the special rights afforded to them during detention in the regulations of the IPS
confirms that the security and military apparatuses of the occupation act within
a complementary framework aimed at breaking the morale of the Palestinians
and stripping them of their rights. Although administrative detainees’ rights are
not respected in practice, detainees sometimes succeed in demanding certain
rights from the IPS or reach agreements with prison administrations on certain
issues. When this is the case, however, the IPS regulations are not amended to
incorporate those achievements and the IPS is therefore able to backtrack on its
promises. This also makes it difficult for the legal organizations working on these
issues to hold the IPS accountable for violations of such agreements.

In order to ensure the continued defense and promotion of the rights of
administrative detainees:

..International humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva
Convention, should be clearly recognized as the legal reference
governing administrative detainees’ rights.

..Copies of the IPS regulations in general, and IPS Order No. 04/02/00
in particular, should be made available to detainees and legal
organizations to help them pressure the IPS into ensuring the
conformity of its regulations with the provisions of the Fourth
Geneva Convention on the one hand, and into treating administrative
detainees according to the rights afforded to them in the IPS
regulations on the other.

holding Conditions for Administrative Detainees

1 a An administrative detainee can only be detained in the
place specified in the administrative detention order
against him or her. Place of detention
b An administrative detainee can be transferred from
the prison where he is detained to another prison
only after the Minister of Defense clearly changes
the place of administrative detention specified in the
administrative detention order.
2 a An administrative detainee shall be detained separately
from convicted and pre-trial prisoners. Separation
from convicted and pre-trial prisoners
b Despite the aforementioned Article 2 (a), in special
conditions, and for reasons related to the interests of
the administrative detainee, it is possible to detain
administrative detainees with convicted and pre-trial
prisoners, based on the opinion of a doctor or a psychologist.
This provision concerns administrative detainees with
psychological or mental disorders, including different
levels of retardation or epilepsy, as well as administrative
detainees who need to be treated or protected.
c Administrative detainees can be detained in one ward or one room.

3 a The prison director is authorized to order the detention of an administrative detainee separately from other administrative detainees if he is convinced that this is
necessary for one of the following reasons:
1- State security.
2- Protecting order in the prison.
3-Protecting the safety or health of the
administrative detainee.
4- Protecting the safety or health of the other
administrative detainees.
Solitary confinement
b The prison director is authorized to order the detention
of an administrative detainee in solitary confinement
if the detainee has requested so himself or herself in
c The decision of the director to detain the detainee in
solitary confinement shall be issued in writing and
indicate the justifications for the decision, and the
decision shall be filed in the administrative detainee’s file.
d 1The prison director shall review the solitary
confinement detention order once every two
months at least.
2 When reviewing the solitary confinement order, the prison director shall examine if the solitary confinement justifications are still valid, and review them again.

3The prison director shall document the renewed discussion, including his justifications, and
keep that documentation in the administrative detainee’s personal file.

4 The prison director is competent to move the time of the solitary confinement order’sreview
forward based on a request by the administrative detainee.
e No administrative detainee shall be detained in solitary confinement for a period exceeding three continuous months, except with a detailed written decision of the Minister of Defense, which shall be kept in the personal file of the administrative detainee

4 An administrative detainee who is detained in solitary confinement for more than three months can object the decision of the prison director to the Minister of Defense.
The prison director is to convey this objection to the office of the Minister of Defense through the Judicial Advisor of the Prison Service, who attaches his opinion on the objection.
This is done without
any delay, and the continued detention of the administrative detainee in solitary detention shall be
based on the decision of the Minister of Defense.

Objection to solitary confinement

5 a An administrative detainee has the right to wear his or her own clothes as long as they do not harm his or her health or the general order in the prison.
b An administrative detainee shall not wear the prison uniform unless he or she so requests and his or her request is accepted.
d An administrative detainee shall not wear any decorations or emblems, whatsoever, except for symbols of religious nature, provided that they are made of a certain material and of an acceptable size.
6 a An administrative detainee shall be provided with meals similar to those served to the
prison guards.


b The prison director is authorized to allow the administrative detainee to receive food from external sources, according to the regulations in place for the prisoners detained in the same prison.
7 a The prison director is authorized to allow the administrative detainee to buy supplies from the prison canteen.

b Withdrawing this benefit is done according to the rules
of the General Prisons Law Order No. 04/17/00.

8 a An administrative detainee shall be examined by the prison doctor once a month, and at any other time whenever there is a need for this examination.

Medical treatment
b An administrative detainee is entitled to receive medical
treatment and equipment based on his health condition, and
according to the relevant regulations in place at the prison.

c If an administrative detainee refuses to receive the treatment
recommended by the prison director, and the doctor believes that there is a danger to the detainee’s health or life, the use of moderate force shall be admissible, in the presence of the
doctor, to give the detainee the necessary medicine.
This use of force shall be subject to the IPS Order 02.04.00.

9 a An administrative detainee must spend two hours outside daily.

Daily recreation
b Following a written request by the administrative
detainee, the prison director is authorized to exempt
him of the daily recreation.
c The prison director is authorized to curtail the administrative detainee’s right to daily recreation for three continuous three months if he is convinced of the necessity of this measure to protect state security, or to protect the safety and health of the administrative detainee.
10 a An administrative detainee is entitled to receive

necessary personal items if they were kept in the deposit section at the time of entering the
administrative detention,
and only if they are not prohibited in IPS Order No. 03.33.00

Personal belongings

b An administrative detainee shall be provided, upon
his admission, with detergents and basic toiletries
required for his or her personal use.
c An administrative detainee is entitled to possess a copy of the Torah, Quran or the Bible depending on his or her religion, in addition to other sacred items required for prayer.
d An administrative detainee is entitled to receive newspapers and books for reading according to the rules of Order No. 04.50.00

11 a An administrative detainee is exempted from all work,
with the exception of making his or her bed and cleaning his or her room.

b The prison director is authorized to allow the administrative detainee, based on his written request, to work in the prison in a work defined by the director.
An administrative detainee is entitled to remuneration for doing that work according to the rules stipulated in Order No. 04.62.00

12. a Administrative detainees who are smokers shall be provided with cigarettes of equal quality and quantity to those provided to the other prisoners in the same prison.
b An administrative detainee is entitled to receive 400 cigarettes from outside every month.

13 a An administrative detainee is allowed to receive visits from his family members once every two weeks for half an hour. Family members include parents, grandparents, husband,
wife, grandchildren, brothers or sisters, and children.

b The prison director is entitled to allow any other person, other than family members, to visit the administrative detainee.
c A prison director is authorized to allow the members of the administrative detainee’s family to visit the detainee in addition to the number of visits stipulated in paragraph (a). This privilege shall be withdrawn according to the provisions of Order No. 04.17.00
d The number of visitors per visit shall not exceed three visitors in addition to the husband, wife or children of the administrative detainee, except with the
permission of the prison director.
e The prison director is authorized to order the presence of a guard during visits if he is convinced that the security of the state, public or prison so requires.
f The guard, in whose presence the visit is conducted, is authorized to halt the visit on the aforementioned grounds, and the administrative detainee has the right to object in
writing against this decision to the prison director.

14 a The prison director is authorized to prevent the visit of any visitor if he is convinced that it is necessary for state security. The decision of the director shall be written along with the justifications and documented in the personal file of the administrative detainee, who
will be informed of the decision.

Preventing visits

b The prison director shall review the decision once every two months, and he is competent to move the time of the review forward.
His decision shall be in writing and documented in the personal file of the administrative
c The administrative detainee has the right to object to a decision to prevent visits for more than two months to the Minister of Defense or deputy minister of defense.

15 Lawyers’ visits to administrative detainees shall be carried out according to the provisions of Order No. 04.34.00

Lawyer’s visits

16 a An administrative detainee has the right to send four letters and four cards every month.

b The prison director is authorized to increase the quantity of letters and cards that the administrative detainee is allowed to send. Withdrawing this privilege shall be done in accordance with Order No. 04.17.00.
c Letters sent by the administrative detainee to the state authorities or the lawyer shall not count among the letters he or she is allowed to send.
d An administrative detainee has the right to receive the
letters sent to him or her.
e The prison director is authorized to monitor the letters and cards sent or received by the administrative detainee, and he is competent to intercept any correspondence for reasons of state security.

The aforementioned prohibition can relate to parts of the letter or card, and the prison director is authorized not to inform the administrative detainee that the letter was not sent (except for the letter sent by the detainee to his family members), or delivered to the administrative detainee.
f Based on the above paragraphs, the provisions of Order No. 04.43.00 apply to dealing with the letters sent to and by the administrative detainees.

17 Telephone calls for administrative detainees shall be in
accordance with the provisions of Order No. 03.02.00.

Telephone communication

18 A decision on the following subjects shall only be made after deliberating with the security services:
a- Solitary confinement for reasons related to the state
b- Preventing the daily recreation for reasons related to
the state security.
c- Giving permission to a non-family member to visit
the administrative detainee.
d- The presence of a guard during visits for reasons
related to the state security.
e- Preventing visits to the administrative detainee for
reasons related to the state security, including review
of such a decision.
f- Preventing the sending or receipt a letter or a card for
reasons that have to do with the state security.
g- Telephone calls.

Duty of deliberation
19 An administrative detainee is not allowed to possess
money, and any money on the detainee at the time of
detention shall be deposited in the deposits section.

20 Disciplinary rules stipulated in chapter (c) of Order No. 04.13.00 shall apply to administrative detainees.


21 These regulations apply to administrative detainees
who were arrested based on the security legislations in
place in the oPt, with the following amendments:
a- Article 1 does not apply.
b- In Articles 4 and 14 (c) above, the Military Commander of the area shall replace the Minister of Defense.
Implementing agency: Prison director.
Detainees from the oPt