[Pnews] Joint Statement on the Appalling Sentencing of Leading Palestinian Human Rights Defender, Ms Khalida Jarrar
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jan 4 10:26:02 EST 2016
*London, Ramallah and New York, 04 January 2016 -* Lawyers for
Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR), Addameer Prisoner Support and Human
Rights Association (Addameer) and the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) are
deeply appalled at the sentencing of leading Palestinian human rights
defender, Ms Khalida Jarrar, to 15 months imprisonment by an Israeli
military court on 7 December 2015. She was further fined 10,000 NIS and
given a suspended sentence of 12 months within a 5 year period.
Ms Jarrar accepted a guilty plea on two of the 12 charges against her –
membership in an illegal organisation and incitement to kidnap Israeli
soldiers – despite her rejection of the merits of all charges. She
reluctantly agreed the plea deal because she did not believe that the
Israeli military court system – which has a reported
rate of more than 99 per cent - would provide her with a fair trial. She
was also aware that her sentence if convicted on all charges could range
between 3.5 to 7 years.
When the military prosecutor offered the 15 month plea deal he insisted
in maintaining the charge of incitement against Ms Jarrar despite
arguments from her legal representatives that the trial, which had begun
on 25 August 2015, demonstrated that the prosecution did not have
reliable evidence to prove the charge. In relation to the charge of
membership of an illegal organisation, the fundamental problem that
confronted Ms Jarrar is that all Palestinian political parties are
considered illegal according to Israeli military orders. It is against
this outrageous context that Ms Jarrar felt compelled to accept the
guilty plea in return for a reduced sentence.
Ms Jarrar will serve her 15 month imprisonment in Hasharon prison in
Israel. This is despite the international law prohibition against the
forcible transfer and detention of protected persons outside of occupied
Ms Jarrar has been continuously imprisoned following her arrest at her
home on 2 April 2015 at approximately 01:30am. The 12 charges
subsequently issued against Ms Jarrar indicated that her arrest,
detention and indictment by Israeli military authorities were as a
direct result of her human rights advocacy work on behalf of prisoners’
rights, and for exercising her rights to freedom of expression and
freedom of assembly.
Ms Jarrar is a Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member and
vice-chairperson of the Board of Directors of Addameer. She has been the
head of the Prisoners Commission of the PLC since 2006, and in February
2015 was appointed to the Palestinian National Committee for the
follow-up of the International Criminal Court.
LPHR, Addameer and NLG submitted a complaint to the UN Special
Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders in June 2015
detailed our very serious concerns that Ms Jarrar was being
illegitimately targeted and punished by Israeli military authorities as
a result of her significant work promoting and protecting the human
rights of Palestinian prisoners.
We submitted that the arrest, detention, use of secret evidence and
indictment of Ms Jarrar amounted to an illegitimate and grave
interference with a range of fundamental rights under international
human rights law. We further clarified that Ms Jarrar's peaceful work to
promote, protect and realise human rights and fundamental freedoms means
she is entitled to the human rights protections outlined in the United
Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
LPHR, Addameer and NLG requests the UN Special Rapporteur for Human
Rights Defenders make immediate contact with the government of Israel to
protest Ms Jarrar's sentencing which resulted from a process that lacked
basic respect for fundamental civil and political rights. When human
rights defenders, such as Ms Jarrar, are unable to work because of
arrest, detention or intimidation, they cannot properly protect people
facing violations of their human rights.
*Contact information: *
*Tareq Shrourou, *LPHR, London* | *contact at lphr.org.uk
<mailto:contact at lphr.org.uk>
*Rafat Sub Laban, *Addameer, Ramallah* | *rafat at addameer.ps
<mailto:rafat at addameer.ps>
*About Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR)*
a lawyer-based legal charity in the United Kingdom that works on legal
projects aimed at protecting and advancing Palestinian human rights.
*About Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer)*
a Palestinian non-governmental, civil institution that works to support
Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian prisons.
*About National Lawyers Guild (NLG)*
a non-governmental, public interest association based in the United
States that works to protect civil liberties and human rights as
afforded by international law.
*Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association*
P. O. Box: 17338, Jerusalem
3 Edward Said Street
1st Floor, Suite 2
Tel: +972 (0)2 296 0446 / 297 0136
Fax: +972 (0)2 296 0447
Email: info at addameer.ps
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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