Military court rejects Shalabi’s appeal against administrative detention
A Palestinian woman holds a poster depicting Hana Shalabi during a rally in her support in Gaza City March 25, 2012. The deteriorating health of Shalabi, a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike for over a month, is focusing international attention on Israel’s decades-old use of detention without trial. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
JENIN — Ofer military court on Sunday rejected a legal appeal for administrative detainee Hana Shalabi, a lawyer from the Prisoners Society said.
Jawad Bulus told Ma’an that a secretary from the Israeli military court informed him the judge rejected his appeal against Shalabi’s detention without trial.
The judge, after reviewing Shalabi’s case, said that there are grounds to continue holding her as she is a threat to Israel’s security.
Bulus said that he will petition against the decision, which he described as unfair and oppressive. Prisoner Society director Qadura Fares said he was not surprised by the courts decision, as they have never treated Palestinian prisoners fairly.
Shalabi, from the village of Burqin, is being held in “administrative detention,” a category in the Israeli legal system which permits imprisoning suspects for six months at a time without charge.
On Thursday, Boulos said Shalabi was in a critical condition.
Bill ban Esveld, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, says Israel is violating Shalabi’s rights.
“After previously imprisoning her without charge for more than two years, Israel is again violating Hana Shalabi’s basic due process rights,” van Esveld said. “If it lacks the evidence to charge her with any crime, as seems to be the case, it should release her immediately.
The Israeli authorities should immediately release a Palestinian detainee, Hana Shalabi,or charge her with a recognizable criminal offence and promptly try her, Amnesty International said amid fears that the woman could die in detention after 40 days on hunger strike.
Hana Shalabi, 30, from the village of Burqin in the northern West Bank, is allegedly affiliated with the Islamic Jihad movement but has never been charged with a criminal offence.
She was transferred to Meir Hospital in the central Israeli town of Kfar Saba on Tuesday night, but remains under Israeli custody and constant armed guard.
“When her lawyers and independent physicians have been given access to her, Hana Shalabi has reported that Israel Prison Service officers have handled her violently while transferring her to hospital or the military court, and consistently pressured her to end her hunger strike,” said Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the Israeli authorities to release Hana Shalabi and other Palestinians held in administrative detention, unless they are promptly charged with internationally recognizable criminal offences and tried in accordance with international fair trial standards.”
Under administrative detention, Israeli military orders allow the authorities to detain Palestinians from the occupied West Bank without trial indefinitely if they are deemed to be a “security threat”.
Hana Shalabi began her hunger strike in protest against ill-treatment during her arrest on 16 February, and continued in protest against her detention without charge or trial after receiving an administrative detention order five days later.
A doctor from Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR) who saw her on Monday reported that she was at risk of death because she could suffer from heart failure at any moment, and called for her immediate hospitalization.
According to PHR, she has lost 14kg (31lbs) since her arrest, and suffers from impaired thyroid functions and severe pain, weakness and dizziness.
“If she remains in detention, she – and all other Palestinian detainees who have joined her hunger strike in protest against the policy of administrative detention – must be treated humanely at all times and receive regular access to medical treatment by an independent physician in a setting that respects the privacy of the doctor and patient, ” said Ann Harrison.
A military judge has yet to rule on the appeal against her four-month detention order, even though the Military Court of Appeals held its first hearing more than two weeks ago on 7 March.
Hana Shalabi was one of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners and detainees freed from Israeli jails as part of a deal to free captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in October and December last year. Before she was re-arrested in February, she had planned to study nursing at al-Rawda College in Nablus.
Prior to her release in October 2011, she was held for 25 months without charge or trial in HaSharon prison, under administrative detention orders that were repeatedly renewed.
There are also reports that the Israeli authorities may be considering force-feeding her, which could constitute cruel and inhuman treatment. As a general rule, hunger strikers should not be forcibly fed.
Her family has yet to receive permits to visit despite repeated requests by international and local organizations. They have not seen her since her arrest on 16 February.
More than 20 other Palestinian detainees and prisoners held in several Israeli prisons have declared open-ended hunger strikes against the policy of administrative detention, some for more than three weeks.
To Amnesty International’s knowledge, they have not been allowed access to independent doctors, and some may also have been denied access to lawyers, isolated, or punished in other ways following their decisions to go on hunger strike.
“No detainees should be punished in any way for their decision to go on hunger strike. The Israeli authorities must ensure that all detainees on hunger strike are treated humanely and allowed access to lawyers and independent medical professionals,” said Ann Harrison.
More than 300 Palestinians, including more than 20 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, are currently being held in administrative detention.
Academic BDS: Tel Aviv U to Investigate Solidarity with Shalabi
By Sergio Yahni, Alternative Information Center
Tel Aviv University will conduct an examination of senior lecturer Dr. Anat Matar for her participation in a solidarity demonstration with hunger striking Palestinian prisoner Hanaa Shalabi.
The demonstration, which took place on the university campus on Wednesday March 21, called for the release of Hanaa Shalabi, who is imprisoned without charges after she was released as part of the Palestinian-Israeli prisoner exchange in October 2011.
Hanaa Shalabi was released from over two years of administrative detention on 18 October 2011, as part of the prisoner exchange deal concluded by the Israeli government and Hamas. Four months later she was arrested from her family home in Burqin, a village near Jenin. Fifty Israeli soldiers raided her home in the early morning, accompanied by an intelligence officer and a large number of dogs.
Following her arrest, Shalabi was taken to Salem Detention Center, where she was subjected to beatings and humiliating treatment. She started her hunger strike on the first day of her arrest, in protest of the ill-treatment to which she was subjected.
According to the Tel Aviv University security, the demonstration in solidarity with Shalabi was illegal. Im Tirzu, a radical right wing organization, carried on a counter demonstration in the area. Students affiliated with Im Tirzu later identified Dr. Anat Matar, a lecturer in the Tel Aviv University Department of Philosophy, as having participated in the solidarity act with Shalabi. Im Tirzu subsequently initiated a petition against Matar and encouraged the dozens of student complaints filed with the university administration against her.
Tel Aviv University announced that it will conduct an examination of the subject.
In response, Dr. Matar said that the demonstration was not an illegal act, and that “People stood quietly on the grass with eyes and hands tied, and that in my opinion does not require approval”.
Im Tirzu claimed that “it is regrettable to find that at Tel Aviv University there are people working against the state.”
This attack on Dr. Matar is not the first time that Im Tirzu attempts to silence dissident voices on campus and has received a positive response by the university administration.
In January this year Im Tirzu focused on Professor Yehuda Shenhav, also of Tel Aviv University, because of comments Shenhav made in the classroom. Shenhav identified the Im Tirzu movement as a fascist group.