[Ppnews] Israel issues 3rd consecutive detention order against Ahmad Qatamesh

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Feb 27 11:54:16 EST 2012

Israel issues third consecutive detention order 
against prisoner of conscience Ahmad Qatamesh

Submitted by maureen on Mon, 02/27/2012 - 06:51

The Palestinian prisoners advocacy group 
announced on Twitter yesterday that Israel had 
detention orders against Palestinian writer 
Qatamesh for an additional six months. This is 
the third consecutive administrative detention order issued against Qatamesh.

The Palestinian writer and academic has been held 
without charge since 21 April 2011, when Israeli 
soldiers raided his family’s home, holding his 
family members hostage at gunpoint until 
Qatamesh, who was not home at the time, surrendered himself.

Ahmad’s daughter, Hanin Ahmad Qatamesh, 
in harrowing detail how Israeli soldiers raided 
her family’s home in the middle of the night, 
searching for her father, in an article for The Electronic Intifada.

Ahmad Qatamesh’s wife Suha Barghouti, a human 
rights activist, 
The Electronic Intifada: “It’s so clear that he 
is there [in Israeli prison] because of his ideas 
and political activism. He is a prisoner of 
conscience and he is there because of political reasons.”

In September of last year, 
International said Ahmad Qatamesh may be a 
prisoner of conscience, and the organization 
expressed concerns that “he may be detained 
solely for the peaceful expression of his political views.”

News of Israel’s renewal of the detention orders 
against Qatamesh comes on the heels of a historic 
hunger strike made by Palestinian administrative 
Adnan. Adnan waged a 66-day-long strike to 
protest his being detained without charge. 
ended his strike after Israel agreed to not renew 
his detention orders and release Adnan on 17 April.

Another Palestinian administrative detainee, 
al-Shalabi, is entering her twelfth day of hunger 
strike. Like Adnan, this is not the first time 
Israel has arrested her and held her without 
charge or trial; she was arrested in September 
2009 and subjected to solitary confinement, abuse 
and sexual harassment, 
to an Addameer profile of al-Shalabi. A military 
court hearing confirming the administrative 
detention order against al-Shalabi is due to be 
held later today, according to Addameer.

There are more than 300 Palestinians currently 
being held without charge or trial under 
administrative detention orders, including at 
least twenty out of 132 members of the elected 
Legislative Council.

Take action

has a toolkit for activists to put pressure on 
Israel to release Qatamesh, and encourages 
supporters to write to Qatamesh in prison (Ahmad 
Qatamesh, Ofer Prison, Givat Zeev, PO Box 3007, via Israel).

also has a profile of Qatamesh which includes 
information on how Israel had previously been 
held in administrative detention for five and a 
half years, and the impact that his imprisonment has had on his family:

Ahmad was first arrested in 1992 in front of his 
three-year-old daughter. Following his arrest, he 
was detained for more than a year - during which 
time he was tortured - before being placed in 
administrative detention in October 1993, despite 
the Military Judge ordering his release. Ahmad’s 
detention orders were repeatedly renewed for the 
next five and a half years, despite a lack of 
evidence purported against him. Due to pressure 
from international campaigns, Ahmad was finally 
released in 1998, becoming one of the 
longest-serving administrative detainees held 
without charge in Israeli prison. His memoir, I 
shall not wear your tarboosh [fez], accounts his 
experiences of being tortured while in detention.


Ahmad’s extensive detention and arrests have been 
extremely difficult for his wife, Suha, a board 
member of Addameer and the Palestine Red Crescent 
Society, and his daughter, Haneen, a university 
student at the American University in Cairo. Suha 
recalls of his most recent arrest, “A few days 
ago, when they arrested my husband, I found out 
that there are very deep marks on my daughter’s 
spirit. She was three years old at that moment 
[when they arrested her father in 1992], and the 
marks are still there. When the soldiers told her 
that [they] arrested her father again, she almost 
collapsed.” Suha and Haneen hoped that Ahmad 
would be released before Haneen’s graduation in 
January. The event was very important to Ahmad, 
particularly because he feels as though he was 
not able to watch his daughter grow up for much of her childhood.

More than ten years after he was released from 
his previous detention, it had not occurred to 
Ahmad’s wife Suha that they might have to suffer 
through the same ordeal once again. The torment 
of his arrest is made even worse by the 
uncertainty of administrative detention and not 
being able to prepare for his release, as the 
family is already all-too-familiar with the 
prison authorities’ practice of renewing 
administrative detention orders every six months. 
She condemns his imprisonment as a prisoner of 
conscience, arrested for his ideas and political 
activism, and calls on the international 
community to continue to assert pressure on his behalf.


Administrative detention is a procedure that 
allows the Israeli military to hold detainees 
indefinitely on secret evidence without charging 
them or allowing them to stand trial. In the 
occupied Palestinian West Bank, the Israeli army 
is authorized to issue administrative detention 
orders against Palestinian civilians on the basis 
of Military Order 1651. This order empowers 
military commanders to detain an individual for 
up to six month renewable periods if they have 
“reasonable grounds to presume that the security 
of the area or public security require the 
detention.” On or just before the expiry date, 
the detention order is frequently renewed. This 
process can be continued indefinitely.

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