[Ppnews] Demand Israel release two girls held without charge

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Oct 10 11:42:53 EDT 2008


Demand Israel release two girls held without charge
Press release, Addameer, 9 October 2008

http://www.kron4.com/global/Category.asp?c=114541

Salwa Salah and Sara Siureh were both arrested from their homes in 
the West Bank town of Bethlehem on 5 June 2008. This is the first 
time that girls under the age of 18 have been put in administrative 
detention. On 12 June 2008 they were issued with military 
administrative detention orders. The orders had been set for four 
months (Salwa) and five months (Sara). A military court confirmed the 
orders on 18 June. An appeal hearing also confirmed the orders on 16 
July although Sara's sentence was reduced from five to four months.

They were due to be released on 4 October 2008. However, on 5 October 
both girls were issued with a second administrative detention order. 
On 6 October a judicial review of the administrative detention order 
took place. The military judge, Eyal Noon, upheld the order for a 
further three months from until 3 January 2009. The military judge 
claims the girls are still "dangerous" despite the fact that the 
military prosecutor has provided no information since the girls were 
arrested. Both girls are now in Addamoun prison in Israel and are 
being held with Palestinian adult female detainees. They have now 
spent more than four months in Israeli prisons, being held without 
charge or trial. Administrative detention orders can be renewed indefinitely.

Salwa Salah was born on the 10 November 1991. On Thursday, 5 June 
2008 at around 2am, Salwa Salah, 16 years old, was sitting with her 
family in their home in Bethlehem. The family suddenly heard a loud 
banging on the door. Salwa's mother opened the door and was faced 
with soldiers and the Israeli Security Agency (ISA). A female soldier 
was present and told Salwa to get dressed. Meanwhile the other 
soldiers interrogated Salwa's mother and questioned her about her 
husband, son and daughter. After finishing interrogating Salwa and 
her mother, the female soldier handcuffed Salwa's hands, blindfolded 
her and forcefully took her to the military jeep.

Sara Siureh was born on the 20 November 1991. On Thursday 5 June 
2008, at around 1:30am Sara Siureh, 16 years old, was in her house 
with her husband in their family home in Bethlehem. They were 
suddenly startled to hear a loud banging on the door. Sara's husband 
opened the door and was confronted with soldiers and the ISA. They 
stormed into the house and a female soldier shouted at Sara to get 
dressed. Sara was dragged out to the military jeep.

Both girls are cousins and Salwa is in her final year at high school. 
She is due to take her university entrance exam this year. However, 
the school year has already begun in the Occupied Palestinian 
Territories, she may have to repeat another year upon her release.

Following their arrest, Salwa and Sara were taken briefly to Telmond 
Prison and then to Ofer Prison where they were interrogated for one 
hour. During the interrogation, they were allegedly asked about what 
they were doing and if they had any relations with any political 
group. The girls did not confess to anything. After one hour the 
girls were taken back to Telmond prison where they spent a couple of 
days. They were then taken to Addamoun prison.

Since their arrest, Salwa and Sara have been subjected to several 
violations of their human rights. In addition to the excessive use of 
force during the arrests, the girls also reported that during a 
transfer from Addamoun to al-Ramle prison on 15 July, they suffered 
extremely abusive behavior from the female police officer escorting 
them. In particular, the officer pushed them forcefully with her 
hands and shouted at them. When they arrived at Ramle prison, 
according to the existing procedure, Salwa and Sara were searched: 
they were asked to strip totally naked while a female officer 
searched their hair, body and mouth with gloves. They felt the search 
was humiliating. Moreover, from the date of their arrest to 21 July, 
none of the girls had been allowed any contact with their families. 
In the meantime they at least had the opportunity to meet and speak 
with their lawyer provided by Addameer.

Addameer expresses its deep concern about the situation of Salwa 
Salah and Sara Siureh and, in particular, the fact that their 
administrative detention does not respect international human rights 
standards. Neither Salwa nor Sara have been informed of any charges 
against them, nor the reason for their arrest and detention, thereby 
violating fundamental due process and rendering their detention 
illegal and arbitrary under international law. The twin principles of 
proportionality and the duty on a state to take into consideration 
the child's well being underline much of the detail found in 
international law concerning the aims, restrictions and prohibitions 
on the sentencing of children. The United Nations Standard Minimum 
Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice requires that any 
reaction to the juvenile offenders should "always be in proportion to 
the circumstances of both the offenders and the offense."

Another fundamental principle of sentencing is that the deprivation 
of liberty, if used at all, should only be used as a measure of last 
resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time (Art. 37 (b), 
CRC). Clearly this is not the case for these two young girls. The 
Court did not abide by these legal standards laid out for all 
detained minors. This is the first time that both girls have been in 
prison. Currently, there are approximately 750 Palestinians now in 
administrative detention. Of these there are approximately 13 
Palestinians under the age of 18 years old.

Act now to support Salwa and Sarah:

Register your outrage to imprisonment without trial. Please write to 
the Israeli government, military and legal authorities demanding: the 
immediate release of all administrative detainees in the absence of 
valid legal charges, or, if such charges exist, bring them before an 
impartial, independent, competent and fair tribunal and guarantee 
their procedural rights at all times.

In particular letters should be addressed to:

Major General Gadi Shamni
Central Commander
Office 64
Military Mail 02367
IDF, Israel

Mr. Daniel Friedmann
Minister of Justice
Fax: + 972 2 628 7757; + 972 2 628 8618

Mr. Menachem Mazuz
Attorney General
Fax: + 972 2 627 4481; + 972 2 628 5438; +972 2 530 3367

Mr. Ehud Barak
Minister of Defense
Fax: +972 3 697 6218
sar at mod.gov.il

Please write to the International Bar Association (IBA), asking its 
members and Human Rights Institute to put pressure on the Israeli Bar 
Association to ensure that all subjects under Israeli jurisdiction be 
granted the basic principles of rule of law -- transparent processes 
which do not allow for arbitrary justice or governance -- to which 
the IBA's Human Rights Institute (HRI) claims to be dedicated to: 
"The HRI is now a leading voice in the promotion of the rule of law 
worldwide."

Please send your letters of concern to the Director of the Human 
Rights Institute of the International Bar Association, Fiona 
Paterson, and copy it the Chairs of the Council, Ambassador Emilio 
Cardenas (Argentina) and Justice Richard Goldstone (South Africa).

Fiona Paterson
Director of Human Rights Institute
International Bar Association
10th Floor
1Stephen St
London, W1T 1AT
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7691 6868
Fax: +44 (0)20 7691 6544

Please also write to the European Union urging the EU to pressure 
Israel to release or charge all prisoners in Administrative Detention 
and to put an end to such an unjust, arbitrary and barbaric system of 
incarceration without trial.

Send your letters of appeal to:
Personal Representative for Human Rights (CFSP) of the EU Secretary General/
High Representative Javier Solana
Ms. Riina Kionka
175 Rue de la Loi BE 1048 Brussels, Belgium
Fax. : +32 2 281 61 90
Email : riina.kionka at consilium.europa.eu

The Commissioner for External Affairs and European Neighbourhood Policy
Ms. Benita Ferrero- Waldner
Email: relex-enpinfo at ec.europa.eu
Or send a comment via ec.europa.eu/external_relations/feedback/question2.htm

Israeli Embassies and Consulates in your own country
A directory of Israeli embassies can be found on the website of the 
Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To access it, please go to the 
following link: 
<http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Sherut/IsraeliAbroad/Continents/>http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Sherut/IsraeliAbroad/Continents/

Kindly inform us of any action taken by copying Addameer at 
addameer at p-ol.com so we can keep track of the letters of support.


Related Links
    * <http://www.addameer.org/>Addameer Prisoners' Support and Human 
Rights Association




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