Urgent Action Victory! Palestinian University Professor Released (Israel/OPT:UA 140.17)

University professor Ahmad Qatamesh was released from administrative detention by the Israeli authorities on 13 August. His three month detention order was not renewed after it expired. He is now back home in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank with his family. Ahmad Qatamesh was a prisoner of conscience.

The Israeli authorities released Ahmad Qatamesh, 67, on 13 August after the expiration of his administrative detention order. The latter was issued by the Israeli army’s military commander in the occupied West Bank on 17 May. The former prisoner of conscience was detained without charge or trial in Ofer prison, near Ramallah, for three months. Ahmad Qatamesh was initially arrested by Israeli soldiers during a pre-dawn raid on his home in Ramallah on 14 May.

While Ahmad Qatamesh explains that he did not face direct violence during his detention, he told Amnesty International: “The system of administrative detention is itself inherently violent in nature. It is a tool to silence and isolate one and steals a person’s life. It is a system that denies people the right to defend themselves, to even know what the charges are against them. Its use is purely political.”

Ahmad Qatamesh added: ”I am a doctor of political science, who writes frequently and gives many seminars with political analysis. I am not a violent person nor do I advocate violence. They do not fear my violence, they fear my ideas and analysis. I have spent more than eight years and a half of my life in administrative detention, most recently for the period of three months because I refuse to remain silent.”

Ahmad Qatamesh encouraged Amnesty International to continue campaigning against Israel’s abusive use of administrative detention: ”From my heart, once more, I thank all those who stood with me in solidarity during this time. It raises the spirit to know people stand with you against injustice. I hope we all work to end this abusive and immoral practice.”

He continued: “I want to thank all those people who stood with me against my unlawful detention and appreciate how even those far away took a strong moral stance defending human rights against Israel’s continued use of administrative detention.”

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