Free Rami Basem Shafiq Shelbayeh

November 16, 2009


Name: Rami Basem Shafiq Shelbayeh
Date of birth: 01/03/1991
Date of arrest: 15/12/2008
Age at arrest: 17
Place of residence: Nablus, Balata refugee camp
Place of detention: Ketziot prison (Negev)
Charge: no charge – administrative detention
Number of renewals: one
File number: 3189/08
Postal address: Ketziot Prison, P.O. Box 13, 841020, Israel

Sign the petition calling for Rami Basem Shafiq Shelbayeh’s release:

To:  British government, Israeli government, the EU, the US, human rights organisations:

WE THE UNDERSIGNED HEREBY DEMAND that Rami Basem Shafiq Shelbayeh, a teenager being imprisoned without charge or trial by the Israeli government, be released immediately and returned to his family.


Detained without charge or trial for 11 months, 18 year-old Rami Basem Shafiq Shelbayeh is ostensibly guilty of nothing other than being a Muslim teenage boy in a Palestinian refugee camp. The official Israeli report justifying his imprisonment says that he has to be detained because he ‘might’ do something in the future. Undisclosed “secret evidence” apparently proves this risk. Under Israel’s practice of ‘administative detention’, which according to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem “blatantly violates” international law, Rami can be held in jail indefinitely.

Rami was ‘arrested’ in December 2008, when over a dozen Israeli soldiers stormed into his house, aggressively interrogated him in front of his parents and then dragged him away, repeatedly beating his body and head with a rifle in the process. Torture and abuse of Palestinian detainees in this manner is standard IDF practice – former Israeli military commander Efran Efrati recently testified that Palestinian children are ‘routinely ill-treated’ by Israeli soldiers, describing a typical arrest as follows:

“Their faces were painted when they came for him. It was frightening. All those soldiers for one boy. They put iron weights on his back in the jeep and beat him all the way to jail. He couldn’t get up for a week.”

Human rights organizations have similarly documented the “widespread ill-treatment and torture” (Defence for Children International) of Palestinians, including children, by the Israeli armed forces.

Rami’s, then, is by no means an isolated case. His is particularly appalling, however, given his age, the fact that he was still at school studying to get into a foreign university and the lack of any family history or links with militant organisations to suggest that he might pose a risk.

Rami is currently imprisoned in the Negev in violation of international law, which forbids an occupying power from imprisoning members of the occupied population in its own territory. He is being held a full three hour’s drive, checkpoints allowing, from his family home in the Balata Refugee Camp in Nablus and his sisters can’t get permission to enter Israel to see him.

Israel is imprisoning an innocent civilian indefinitely without charge or trial, solely on the basis that he is Palestinian. Please demonstrate your opposition to this arbitrary repression and your solidarity with Rami and others like him by signing this petition to demand that Rami be released, immediately and unconditionally.

Please also write to Rami at:

Ketziot Prison, P.O. Box 13, 841020, Israel

to keep his spirits up and increase the pressure on Israel to release him.

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