On 11 December the Israeli military renewed the administrative detention of Palestinian circus performer Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha for another six months. He has been held without charge or trial by the Israeli authorities for a year.
Palestinian circus performer Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha, aged 24, from Jenin, in the Occupied West Bank, has been held by the Israeli authorities without charge or trial for a year. Israeli forces arrested him on 14 December 2015, at Za’atara checkpoint near Nablus. The order issued on 11 December is his third six-month administrative detention order. Although six months is the maximum period of detention for each order, there is no limit on how many times each order can be renewed. A hearing set for 13 December for a military judge to review the order at Ofer military court in the occupied West Bank was postponed – and no new hearing date was set – but it is extremely unlikely they will cancel the order.
At a hearing on 5 December at the Israeli High Court, the judges told Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha’s lawyer that they believed the secret “evidence” provided by the Israel Security Agency (ISA) justified the ISA’s contention that Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha poses a “threat to the security of the State of Israel.” According to his lawyer, this is despite the fact that there has been no new material in the file since December 2015. However, the system of administrative detention means that neither Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha nor his lawyer gets to review the “evidence”, and can therefore not defend against it. This violates a central tenet of fair trial standards.
Amnesty International fears that the Israeli authorities – as they have done in many other such cases – are using administrative detention as a method of punishing Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha without prosecuting him, which would amount to arbitrary detention. Israel’s use of administrative detention itself may amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, given the detainee’s inability to know why they are being detained or when they will be released.
Contact these two officials by 25 January, 2017:
Military Judge Advocate General
Brigadier General Sharon Afek
Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel
Fax: +972 3 569 4526
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Judge Advocate General