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Sunday, June 12, 2005

 

Palestinians in Prison: Adnan

There are few households in Palestine that have escaped having at least one member imprisoned. Israelis imprison Palestinians as a means to fill the ranks of collaborators as well as to keep the society in a state of disorganization. Thanks to PS from Al-Awda Media for the following written by an Israeli on behalf of Adnan.

I met Adnan in Dheheishe refugee camp in 1999, when a big group of
Israelis and Palestinians participated in joint educational and
cultural activities at the Ibda’a community center located in the
camp. We studied each others’ languages, we went together to see art
performances in Ramallah and Jerusalem, we hiked outdoors. Adnan was
very active in the group and was committed to these activities. I was
his Hebrew teacher.

After the outbreak of the current Intifada, we continued our
relationship over the phone. Adnan's conviction in the need for
peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians has not been
shaken by the events of this Intifada nor by his prolonged detention
under very harsh conditions. Since his detention on 2 January 2003,
he has called me regularly from Ketziot. (The prison authorities turn a
blind eye to prisoners’ cellular phone use, as it allows them to
overhear what the prisoners say).

Adnan lives between 9m cement walls in the Negev desert. The entire
detention camp is divided into cages, with 120 people living in tents
inside each cage. Adnan's cage separates him from the world in 4
directions by cement walls; he is also separated from the sky by a wire net.

Why Adnan was detained?

Probably for the same reason why other educators and community leaders
are detained: Adnan was a staff member at the YMCA Vocational
Training Center in a refugee camp near Jericho. The Israeli
Occupation Forces prefer to keep such people (i.e. educators) in
prisons. This practice helps keep Palestinian society disorganized and
uneducated, and thus easier to rule.

Why he is not put on trial?

Adnan was detained because a collaborator with the Israeli Security
Forces claimed that Adnan gave him "military training." Adnan denies
any involvement in this kind of activity and asks for a fair trial. He
continues to be refused a trail because the Israeli justice system is
very human: it has to protect the collaborator, whose life would be
endangered as a result of a trial because his identity would be
uncovered in the course of the testimony. This is a common occurrence, and many administrative detainees are denied trial under the same
pretext. For these very human considerations Adnan can be detained
forever; there is no verdict (because there is no trial), and every
few months his detention is just automatically prolonged.

One month ago Adnan’s 24-year-old wife managed to get a permit to visit
him for the first time in 2 years and 5 months. After this long
separation, they saw each other for 30 minutes, divided by transparent
plastic boards. Prisoners have managed to make small holes in these
boards so, as Adnan described to me, their fingers could touch each
other.

Why should you write appeal letters specifically on behalf of Adnan?

Adnan is one of nearly 700 administrative detainees. This free use of
administrative detention orders is just one of many expressions of the
Israeli authorities’ disregard for human rights when they concern those
of Palestinian people. Adnan's case will be presented to the Israeli
Supreme Court by his lawyer. The outcome of the Supreme Court decision
is not only crucial for Adnan, but also for other prisoners serving
under administrative detention orders, and can help raise awareness
about this issue among the wider Israeli public.

Read more on Amnesty International Website.

Sample Letter:

Menahem Mazuz
Attorney-General/Legal
Advisor to the Government
Ministry of Justice
29 Salah al-Din Street
Jerusalem 91010, Israel
Fax: +972 2 628 5438
+972 2 627 4481

Dear Mr. Mazuz,

I am writing to you on behalf of Adnan Na'm Abdallah (ID no. 964385454 and prisoner no. 6015), who has been in the Ketziot prison for two and a half years under an administrative detention order.
The order states that Adnan is detained because "he is a danger to the security of the area," but it does not contain any evidence to substantiate this claim.

Adnan is 31 years old. He is a staff member of the East Jerusalem YMCA Vocational Training Center in the Aqaba refugee camp near Jericho.
He is known as a person who believes in peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.

I think that ruining a young man’s life, by detaining him without trial in the harsh conditions which prevail at Ketziot prison, does not promote peace and security for the state of Israel. In addition to Adnan, about 700 prisoners are currently serving administrative detention orders. This practice severelly violates the human rights of many people and is unacceptable in a democratic country.

I request you to release Adnan or, at least provide him with a trial in a proper court of law in accordance with internationally accepted standards of fairness.

Sincerely,

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