30 October 2001

Open letter to Mr. Yasser Arafat

President
Palestinian National Authority
Gaza
Fax: 972 7 882 23 66

Your Excellency,

The FIDH has been informed by its two Palestinian member organisations, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza and the Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment in the West Bank, of the case of Mr. Yunis al Jarro and Dr. Rabah Muhanna, who have been arrested by Palestinian securities services in Gaza on 18 October.
The FIDH is concerned of the fact that these persons, as well as dozens of other PFLP activists, are currently being held without charges.
Mr. Al Jarro, a former deputy head of the Palestinian Bar Association in Gaza, is one of the most prominent lawyers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and a leader in the political wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Dr. Muhanna, another prominent PFLP activist, is the director of a health services NGO. They were taken into custody on 18 October as part of a campaign of what seems to be politically motivated arrests by the Palestinian National Authority after the PFLP claimed responsibility for the assassination of right-wing Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Ze’evi in occupied East Jerusalem on 17 October.
The FIDH condemns politically motivated arrests and demands the release of those unlawfully held. We are concerned that PCHR has yet received no response to a demand submitted, on 20 October, to the Palestinian Attorney General that Mr. Al Jarro and Dr. Muhanna be freed and that their detention be explained. On 27 October, the Palestinian High Court of Justice ordered prosecutors to explain the arrests and demanded that they conform with legal procedures, and there is still no response to its demand. FIDH considers that Mr. Al Jarro and Dr. Muhanna’s arrests violate the Palestinian law as well as their basic human rights as recognized by international instruments.

We hope that your excellency will answer these concerns.

Yours respectfully,

Sidiki Kaba
Président
Last Update 21 June 2004
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