Saturday, July 30, 2005

Lettre pour Zyad-letter for Zyad

Pour aider Ziyad, un defenseur des droits humains arrete par l'armee israelienne (voir cas dans post precedent), vous pouvez envoyer une lettre sous le modele suivant.
To help Ziyad, a human rights fieldworker, who has been arrested by the Israeli army, you can use the model letter as followed.

Tzipi Livni (Ms) Minister of Justice Ministry of Justice 29 Salah al-Din Street Jerusalem 91010, Israel

Menahem Mazuz (Mr) Attorney-General/Legal Advisor to the Government Ministry of Justice 29 Salah al-Din Street Jerusalem 91010, Israel

Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit Chief Military Attorney 6 David Elazar Street Hakirya Tel Aviv Israel

17h June 2005
Dear Minister,
I was disturbed to hear of today’s decision by the Moscobiya Military Court to place Ziyad Muhammad Shehadeh Hmeidan in administrative detention, for an indefinitely renewable period of six months. Administrative detention is the imprisonment of individuals without charge or trial by administrative rather than judicial procedure. Ziyad, 31, lives in al-Khass village near Bethlehem, and has been a fieldworker with human rights organisation Al-Haq since 2000. He is responsible for monitoring and documenting violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in the Bethlehem area of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). No formal charges have been brought against him, nor has the evidence supporting his detention been made available to his lawyer. Despite this, Ziyad was issued with an administrative detention order today in violation of his fundamental rights under international law, in particular the right to due process.
Ziyad was detained on 23 May 2005 at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem, while on his way back to Bethlehem from Birzeit University where he is a postgraduate student. Ziyad has now spent 25 days in detention without any formal charges being brought against him, and without being informed of the reasons for his detention. Furthermore, the Israeli authorities have taken measures to inhibit and deny his access to a lawyer. This was done by moving him between different detention facilities and then (through an order issued in a hearing on 30 May) preventing his access to counsel for eight days. This order, and indeed his subsequent administrative detention, has been justified by “security reasons”, which have not been disclosed to Ziyad or his legal counsel.
Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Israel is a State Party, guarantees to everyone the right not to be subjected to arbitrary detention. It also gives everyone the right, if arrested, to be promptly informed of the reasons for the arrest and of any criminal charges. While Israel has derogated from its obligations under this article, the UN Human Rights Committee has made it clear in its 1998 periodic review of Israel’s compliance with the ICCPR, that a State party may not depart from the requirement of effective judicial review of detention. Specifically, according to the Committee, a detained person must be informed promptly of the reasons for detention and must be allowed access to a lawyer within 48 hours of the detention. Moreover, administrative detention must be of a short duration and can not be for an indefinite period.
In addition, the right to a fair trial is guaranteed under international humanitarian law. The legal principle that no one may be convicted or sentenced, except pursuant to a fair trial affording all essential judicial guarantees, has been deemed customary by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Ziyad’s treatment does not conform to these obligations.
I am compelled to highlight that Ziyad’s situation is not unique. Addameer (a support and human rights organization of Palestinian prisoners) estimated that at the end of 2004 there were over 850 Palestinian administrative detainees in Israeli prisons. Further, Israel’s widespread and sustained policy of administrative detention is supported by both the government and the judiciary, denying Palestinian detainees any meaningful protection of their rights.
I believe that the Israeli policy of administrative detention violates international human rights and humanitarian law. In the absence of clear charges being brought against Ziyad Hmeidan, I demand his immediate and unconditional release.


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