Urgent Action Victory! Palestinian Human Rights Defender Released (Israel/OPT: UA 154.16)

Palestinian human rights defender and media coordinator for prisoners’ rights group Addameer, Hasan Safadi, was released on 7 December from Ketziot Prison in Israel. He spent nearly a year and a half in administrative detention without charge or trial. He has now returned home to his family in Beit Hanina, in occupied East Jerusalem.

On 7 December, Palestinian human rights defender and NGO worker Hasan Ghassan Ghaleb Safadi was released from Ketziot Prison in southern Israel, after spending 586 days in administrative detention without charge or trial. According to Palestinian prisoners’ rights NGO Addameer, whose lawyer represented Hasan Safadi, his release came after an Israeli judge ruled that his administrative detention order will not be renewed again. He is back home with his family in Beit Hanina, in occupied East Jerusalem.

Hasan Ghassan Ghaleb Safadi, aged 26, was originally arrested by the Israeli authorities on 1 May 2016 at the al-Karameh border crossing between Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The arrest followed his return from a conference in Lebanon on justice, accountability issues, and prisoners’ rights. He was interrogated for 40 days and told his lawyer, that he had been subjected to sleep deprivation and tied in stress positions during this time. He was also denied access to his lawyer for the first 10 days following his arrest.

On 10 June 2016, Hasan was charged with visiting an “enemy” country (Lebanon) at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court. On the same day the court ordered his release after his parents paid the bail of 2,500NIS (US$ 650). However, while his parents were waiting for his release, they were informed that he had been placed under a six-month administrative detention order signed by the defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman.

Hasan Safadi was held inside Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which provides that detainees of a population from an occupied territory must be detained within that territory.

Hasan Safadi spoke to Amnesty International on 7 December and delivered the following message of thanks to all those who took action on his behalf: I thank you all so much for your support and for believing in the work of Palestinian human rights defenders who are continuously targeted and silenced for their work in exposing human rights violations… our strength is in our solidarity and in standing up for each other’s rights.”

He added that he looks forward to returning to his work as media coordinator for prisoners’ rights group Addameer, and to continue to fight for the rights of Palestinian prisoners and detainees.

The occupation tried to silence me and to break my will by placing me under administrative detention, but I will never be broken and I will continue my work until the occupation ends,” he told Amnesty.

 Thank you to all those who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network.