Urgent Action Victory! – Palestinian NGO Worker Released (Israel/OPT: UA 72.18)

On 17 July, Abdul Razeq Farraj, Finance and Administration Director at the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), a development NGO based in Ramallah in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), was released from Ofer prison. He had spent 14 months in administrative detention without charge or trial.

On 17 July, Palestinian NGO worker Abdul Razeq Farraj was released from Ofer prison, near the city of Ramallah in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), after spending 442 days in administrative detention without charge or trial. According to Palestinian prisoners’ rights NGO Addameer, which provided the lawyer represented Abdul Razeq Farraj, his release came after an Israeli judge ruled that his administrative detention order would not be renewed again. He has now returned home to his family in Ramallah.

Abdul Razeq Farraj was arrested by Israeli soldiers on 21 May 2017 around 3am at his home in Ramallah in the OPT. The military commander of the West Bank issued a four-month administrative detention order against him later that day, before Abdul Razeq Faraj had even been questioned. Initially, the order was to end on 20 September but was renewed three times.

Abdul Razeq Farraj, a father of two, holds a BA degree in Economics and a Diploma in Management from Birzeit University, near Ramallah. He is the Finance and Administration Director at the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), a development NGO based in Ramallah, where he has worked for more than 30 years.

Abdul Razeq Farraj has spent over 10 years of his life in administrative detention, amounting to a total of 123 months (more precisely 3,743 days) in detention without charge or trial. In addition, he has served a six-year sentence in an Israeli prison after being convicted of affiliation with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP, a left-wing political party with an armed wing that is banned by Israel).

Abdul Razeq Farraj spoke to Amnesty International after his release and delivered the following message of thanks to all those who took action on his behalf: “I would like to express my deep gratitude, for your continuous support to the Palestinian people and to UAWC. Special thanks for your support and solidarity with me during the last 14 months that I have spent in administrative detention. This support confirms that Palestinian political prisoners have real friends and supporters all around the world.”

He added that he has returned to his work at UAWC and will continue to fight for the rights of Palestinian prisoners and detainees.

‘’The way Israel uses the policy of administrative detention violates international law. Currently, about 500 Palestinians, including three women, are under administrative detention without any charges or fair trial. In February 2018, administrative detainees launched an ongoing boycott of Israeli military courts to demand an end to administrative detention. This boycott should be supported by all human rights organizations because it’s the only way to pressure Israel to stop using this arbitrary detention.’’

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