Israel / Occupied Palestinian Territory: Ongoing arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Mr. Salah Hamouri

27/09/2017
Urgent Appeal

New information
ISR 001 / 0917 / OBS 096.1

Arbitrary detention /
Judicial harassment
Israel / Occupied Palestinian Territory
September 27, 2017

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent interventionin the following situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ongoing arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Mr. Salah Hamouri, a Franco-Palestinian lawyer and field researcher with Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer) [1] in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

According to the information received, on September 17, 2017, Jerusalem District Court confirmed a six months’ administrative detention [2] against Mr. Salah Hamouri. Although, the charges against Mr. Hamouri were not known at the time of this Urgent Appeal, he would reportedly be accused by Israeli authorities of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and a threat to national security in Jerusalem and surrounding areas in the West Bank.

Mr. Salah Hamouri has been detained since August 23, 3017, when he was arrested from his house in Jerusalem by the Israeli army and immediately placed under a six months administrative detention ordered by the Minister of Defense, Mr. Avigdor Liberman.

Subsequently, on September 5, 2017, the Jerusalem District Court reinstated a sentence against Mr. Salah Hamouri originally issued in 2005 and ordered him to serve the remaining three-month sentence (see background information). However, on September 13, 2017, the Israeli Supreme Court annulled the Jerusalem District Court decision.

Mr. Salah Hamouri was initially detained in al-Mascobiyeh (The Russian Compound) interrogation facility in Jerusalem before being transferred on September 7, 2017, to Ketziot (al-Naqab) prison, where he remains detained to date.

In addition, Mr. Salah Hamouri’s wife, Ms. Elsa Lefort, a French national, is currently banned by Israeli authorities from entering Palestine.

The Observatory condemns the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Mr. Salah Hamouri as it only seems to aim at sanctioning his human rights activities, in particular with Palestinian political prisoners.

The Observatory urges Israeli authorities to immediately release Mr. Salah Hamouri, as well as to put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against him and members of his family. The Observatory further urges to ensure that all the judicial proceedings against Mr. Salah Hamouri are carried out in full compliance with his right to a fair trial as protected under international law.

Background information:

On March 13, 2005, Mr. Salah Hamouri was arrested by the Israeli military at Qalqiliya checkpoint and sentenced to seven years in prison for his alleged involvement in a plot to assassinate Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of the religious and ultra-orthodox party Shas, and former Chief Rabbi of Israel. Mr. Salah Hamouri was to be released on March 13, 2012, but instead, was set free on December 18, 2011, as part of the Wafa Al Ahrar prisoner exchange deal [3].

Subsequent to his re-arrest on August 23, 2017, on August 29, 2017, the Jerusalem Magistrate Court ordered his conditional release and his placement under house arrest in Al-Reineh for 20 days. The Court also banned Mr. Salah Hamouri from entering Jerusalem, from travelling outside the country for three months and ordered a 10,000 NIS (approx. 2642 Euros) bail.

However, when Mr. Salah Hamouri’s family went to pay the bail, they were told he would not be released and had received a six-months administrative detention order, which had been issued on August 23, 2017 by the Minister of Defence without being notified to Mr. Salah Hamouri.

On September 5, 2017, the Jerusalem District Court reinstated a sentence against Mr. Salah Hamouri originally issued in 2005 and ordered him to serve the remaining three-month sentence. This represents the time that was left for Mr. Salah Hamouri to serve prior to his release as part of the Wafa Al Ahrar exchange deal. A representative from the French Consulate in Jerusalem and Mr. Salah Hamouri’s father were prevented from entering the courtroom.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Israel urging them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Salah Hamouri as well as that of all human rights defenders in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

ii. Immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Salah Hamouri as well as all detained human rights defenders in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory as their detention is arbitrary since it only seems to aim at punishing him for their human rights activities;

iii. In the meantime, ensure that all the judicial proceedings against Mr. Salah Hamouri are carried out in full compliance with his right to a fair trial as protected under international law;

iv. Put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Salah Hamouri, his family, as well as against all human rights defenders in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

v. Comply with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular Articles 1 and 12.2;

vi. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory in accordance with international human rights instruments.

Addresses:

• Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel – Minister of Foreign Affairs; Fax: + 972 267 055 55 / 972-2-5303367; Email: b.netanyahu@pmo.gov.il, pm_eng@pmo.gov.il
• Mr. Avigdor Liberman, Minister of Defense; Fax: +972 369 169 40; Email: aliberman@knesset.gov.il
• Ms. Ayelet Shaked; Minister of Justice; Fax: +972 262 886 18; E-mail: sar@justice.gov.il
• Mr. Shai Nitzan, State Attorney; Email: state-attorney@justice.gov.il
· H.E. Ambassador Ms. Aviva Raz Shechter, Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 716 05 55. Emil: mission-israel@geneva.mfa.gov.il
· H.E. Ambassador Simona Frankel; Embassy of Israel in Belgium and Luxembourg, Fax: +32 2 373.56.17; Email: web@brussels.mfa.gov.il

Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Israel in your respective country.

***
Paris-Geneva, September 27, 2017

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, an FIDH and OMCT partnership, is dedicated to the protection of human rights defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

Email: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

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