Life of man in administrative detention at risk from hunger strike
Occupied Palestinian Territories
Date: 1 February 2012
Khader Adnan has been on hunger strike since 18 December 2011 in protest against his administrative detention, a procedure which the Israeli authorities use to detain individuals indefinitely without charge or trial .
Israeli soldiers arrested Khader Adnan from his house in Arrabe village in the occupied West Bank on 17 December 2011 and transferred him to Kishon detention centre in Israel for interrogation. He reported being beaten and ill-treated during his arrest and interrogation. According to his lawyers, Khader Adnan announced a hunger strike after the first day of interrogation in protest against his ill-treatment and the conditions of his detention. He was moved to Ramleh prison hospital on 30 December 2011 after his health deteriorated as a result of his hunger strike. He has lost a significant amount of weight, as he is only accepting water. The organization Physicians for Human Rights has warned that his life is at risk.
On 10 January Khader Adnan was taken to a military court in Ofer and given a four-month administrative detention order signed by the military commander in advance. He decided to continue his hunger strike in protest against his administrative detention. A military judge reviewed the administrative order on 1 February and will inform lawyers with her decision in the coming days. She is expected to either confirm the administrative detention order or reduce the number of months for which Khader Adnann will be held. .
Administrative detention is a procedure under which detainees are held without charge or trial for periods of up to six months, which can be renewed indefinitely. No criminal charges are filed against administrative detainees and there is no intention of bringing them to trial. Detainees are held on the basis of “secret evidence” which the Israeli military authorities claim cannot be revealed for security reasons. This “secret evidence” is not made available to detainees or their lawyers, and detainees cannot challenge the reasons for their detention.
Please write immediately in Hebrew or your own language:
Expressing concern for Khader Adnan’s health and safety, and urging that he is given regular access to medical treatment of his choice, treated humanely at all times, and not punished in any way for his hunger strike;
Calling on the Israeli authorities to release Khader Adnan and other Palestinians held in administrative detention, unless they are promptly charged with internationally recognizable criminal offences and brought to trial in full conformity with international fair trial standards;
Calling on the Israeli authorities to end the use of administrative detention, which violates the right to a fair trial as guaranteed by Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Please send send appeals before 14 March 2012 to:
Military Judge Advocate General
Brigadier General Danny Efroni
6 David Elazar Street
Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel
Fax: +972 3 569 4526
Salutation: Dear Judge Advocate General
Commander of the IDF – West Bank
Major-General Avi Mizrahi
GOC Central Command
Military Post 01149
Israel Defense Forces, Israel
Fax: +972 2 530 5724
Salutation: Dear Major-General Avi Mizrahi
And copies to:
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence
Ministry of Defence
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 3 69 16940 / 62757
Salutation: Dear Minister
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Khader Adnan, aged 33, is a baker, a Master’s student at Birzeit university, and a political activist. He is married with two daughters. He was arrested from his home in the village of Arrabe near Jenin in the occupied West Bank on 17 December 2011. He told lawyers and human rights organizations that masked soldiers violently broke into his house, where his mother and children were present. He said that his hands were shackled behind him, and that he was thrown onto the floor of the military jeep that took him to the settlement of Mevo Dotan. He complained that he was kicked and slapped by the soldiers while in the military jeep. When he arrived at the settlement, his hands were swollen from the shackles and his lower lip bleeding. He was then transferred to Kishon detention centre in Israel for interrogation.
Khader Adnan told lawyers that he went on a hunger strike on the second day of his arrest to protest his ill-treatment by interrogators from the Israel Security Agency (ISA). and the conditions of his detention. According to the ISA briefing that his lawyers received, Adnan was interrogated almost every day from 18 until 29 January 2012; on some days he was interrogated twice. There were seven regular interrogators; other security officials were also present at some points. During interrogations, he was shackled to a crooked chair with his hands tied behind his back in a position that caused him back pain. He said that interrogators threatened him constantly and verbally abused him and his family.
On the fourth day of Khader Adnan’s interrogation he was put in a solitary confinement cell, as punishment – according to him -for his hunger strike. He remained in solitary confinement for 10 days before he was moved to Ramleh prison hospital on 30 December 2011, after his health deteriorated as a result of his hunger strike. On 31 January 2012, he was moved to a hospital outside prison where he is reportedly shackled to his hospital bed and under constant armed guard.
On 10 January 2012, Khader Adnan was taken to a military court in nearby Ofer where he was given a four-month administrative detention order signed in advance by the military commander of the West Bank . He decided to continue his hunger strike in protest against his administrative detention. A military judge reviewed the administrative detention order on 1 February 2012 and is expected to inform lawyers of her decision later on the week.
According to local human rights organization Addameer, this is Khader Adnan’s eighth arrest by the Israeli authorities, who allege that he is associated with the Islamic Jihad party. Islamic Jihad has a military wing which has carried out armed attacks on Israeli citizens, and the party is considered a terrorist organization by the Israeli authorities. Khader Adnan previously spent a total of six years in Israeli prisons, held mainly under administrative detention orders without charge or trial.
Amnesty International opposes the practice of administrative detention in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) because it violates the internationally-recognized right to a fair trial. International standards for fair trial must be upheld for all political detainees, including those accused of violence, even under states of emergency. Amnesty International believes that some of those held in administrative detention by the Israeli authorities are very likely to be prisoners of conscience, held solely for the non-violent exercise of their right to freedom of expression and association.
According to the Israeli Prison Service, there were 307 Palestinians held in administrative detention on 31 December 2011, but this number may have since increased. There are currently 21 Palestinian Legislative Council members in administrative detention.
Khader Adnan Mohammad Musa
Date of Birth: 24 March 1978
Place of residence: Arraba, Jenin
Marital status: Married with two daughters. His wife is five months pregnant with a third child.
Occupation: Baker and Master’s student in Economics at Birzeit University
Date of arrest: 17 December 2011
Place of detention: Ramleh prison hospital
Number of administrative detention orders: 1
Expected end of current detention order: 8 May 2012
On 16 January 2012, Khader Adnan entered his 30th day of hunger strike and speaking strike in protest of his administrative detention. His health is rapidly deteriorating and he is refusing treatment until he is released.
Khader was arrested on 17 December 2011, when Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) raided his home outside Jenin at 3:30 am. Before entering his house, soldiers used the driver that takes Khader’s father to the vegetable market, Mohammad Mustafa, as a human shield by forcing him to knock on the door of the house and call out Khader’s name while blindfolded. A huge force of soldiers then entered the house shouting. Recognizing Khader immediately, they grabbed him violently in front of his two young daughters and ailing mother.
The soldiers blindfolded him and tied his hands behind his back using plastic shackles before leading him out of his house and taking him to a military jeep. Khader was then thrown on his back and the soldiers began slapping him in the face and kicking his legs. They kept him lying on his back until they reached Dutan settlement, beating him on the head throughout the 10-minute drive. When they reached the settlement, Khader was pushed aggressively out of the jeep. Because of the blindfold, Khader did not see the wall right in front of him and smashed into it, causing injuries to his face.
INTERROGATION AND HUNGER STRIKE
Though he was arrested at 3:30 in the morning, Khader was kept shackled until 8:30 am, at which point he was transferred to Megiddo prison. On his first day under arrest, Khader began a hunger strike in protest of his detention. The following morning, he was taken to Al-Jalameh interrogation center. Upon arriving to Al-Jalameh, Khader was given a medical exam, where he informed prison doctors of his injuries and told them that he suffered from a gastric illness and disc problems in his back. Instead of being treated, he was taken to interrogation immediately.
Four interrogators began to insult and humiliate him, especially using abusive language about his wife, sister, children and mother. On the first day of interrogation, he answered general questions despite the continuous spate of insults. After the first session, however, Khader stopped responding and began a speaking strike because of the interrogators’ use of increasingly graphic language. Interrogation sessions continued every day for the next ten days, excluding Mondays.
On his fourth day of interrogation, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) sentenced him in his cell to seven days of isolation due to his hunger strike. In order to further punish him without being required to go to court, the IPS also banned him from family visits for three months, revealing a pre-intention to keep him in detention upon completion of his interrogation. Khader was placed in an isolation cell in a section of the prison shared with Israeli criminal prisoners. On one occasion, a force of soldiers raided his cell in the middle of the night and strip-searched him. While in the isolation period, Khader continued to be under interrogation daily.
Each day, Khader was subjected to two three-hour interrogation sessions. Throughout the interrogation sessions, his hands were tied behind his back on a chair with a crooked back, causing extreme pain to his back. Khader notes that the interrogators would leave him sitting alone in the room for half an hour or more. Khader also suffered from additional ill-treatment. During the second week of interrogation, one interrogator pulled his beard so hard that it caused his hair to rip off. The same interrogator also took dirt from the bottom of his shoe and rubbed it on Khader’s mustache as a means of humiliation.
On Friday evening 30 December 2011, Khader was transferred to Ramleh prison hospital because of his deteriorating health from his hunger strike. He was placed in isolation in the hospital, where he was subject to cold conditions and cockroaches throughout his cell. He has refused any medical examinations since 25 December, which was one week after he stopped eating and speaking. The prison director came to speak to Khader in order to intimidate him further and soldiers closed the upper part of his cell’s door to block any air circulation, commenting that they would “break him” eventually.
On 8 January 2012, Khader was issued a four-month administrative detention order. As with all other administrative detainees, Khader’s detention is based on secret information collected by Israeli authorities and available to the military judge but not to the detainee or his lawyer. This practice violates international humanitarian law, which permits some limited use of administrative detention in emergency situations, but requires that the authorities follow basic rules for detention, including a fair hearing at which the detainee can challenge the reasons for his or her detention. These minimum rules of due process have been clearly violated in Khader’s case, leaving him without any legitimate means to defend himself. At the hearing in Ofer military court, Khader was threatened by members of the Nahshon, a special intervention unit of the IPS known for being particularly brutal in their treatment of prisoners, who told Khader that his head should be exploded.
Although his interrogation period has ended, Khader remains under hunger strike for multiple stated reasons: he considers his detention a violation of his rights and identity; he rejects the ill-treatment he suffered at the hands of the soldiers, interrogators, and Nahshon Unit; and he refuses to accept the unjust system of administrative detention. Khader currently suffers from overall fatigue and dizziness and is refusing to add any vitamins or salt to his water. The doctor in the hospital has threatened to give him nutrition by force if he continues to resist medical treatment. He is watched at all times through cameras in his cell and if he does not move at night, soldiers knock on his door violently.
This arrest is Khader’s eighth detention by Israeli authorities. He previously spent a total of six years in Israeli prison, mainly under administrative detention. In 2005, he launched a hunger strike that lasted for 12 days in protest of being held in isolation in Kfar Yuna.
Khader is the third case in Addameer’s Prisoners at Risk campaign, launched on 17 April 2011, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. The campaign will raise awareness of specific cases of Palestinian political prisoners whose detention presents serious dangers. For more information about this campaign please visit the campaign page.
Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold detainees indefinitely on secret evidence without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. In the occupied Palestinian West Bank, the Israeli army is authorized to issue administrative detention orders against Palestinian civilians on the basis of Military Order 1651. This order empowers military commanders to detain an individual for up to six month renewable periods if they have “reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention.” On or just before the expiry date, the detention order is frequently renewed. This process can be continued indefinitely.
For more information on administrative detention, read Addameer’s report on administrative detention: Administrative Detention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: A Legal Analysis Report.