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Ashrawi: 'Israel’s administrative detention an assault on human rights'

March 1, 2019 10:53 A.M. (Updated: March 3, 2019 10:23 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Commenting on Israel’s release today of Palestinian lawmaker and prominent human rights defender Khalida Jarrar after spending 20 months in administrative detention, Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member, said Israel’s administrative detention policy is “an assault on universal human rights.”

Ashrawi said in a statement, on Thursday, “After twenty months in Israeli captivity, Khalida Jarrar is finally free. This imprisonment was yet another chapter in a lifetime of persecution and oppression from the Israeli occupation to this prominent human rights defender and elected representative, including several arrests, house arrest, and a ban on travel due to her activism against occupation and her work in defending the national and human rights of her people.”

She added, “As we celebrate the release of Khalida, we must not lose sight that nearly 500 Palestinian citizens, including children and other elected officials, are languishing in Israeli prisons, without charge or trial, under so-called administrative detention.”

“This form of open-ended detention is a tool of cruel punishment and oppression that the Israeli occupation regime has employed against thousands of Palestinian activists throughout the past fifty-two years of occupation. It is an abhorrent practice that violates international law, including international humanitarian law and international criminal law, as well as the basic rights and dignity of Palestinians.”

She stressed that states that “champion the universal values of human rights and the rule of international law must not turn a blind eye to Israel’s policy of mass incarceration of Palestinians, including the use of the so-called administrative detention. This policy is a fundamental anchor of the system of control and oppression that Israel has employed against the Palestinian people for more than half a century to perpetuate its illegal occupation.”

Ashrawi continued, “It is time to confront this policy with resolve. Human rights are universal and indivisible. The state of human rights around the world is undermined so long as Israel is allowed to violate the basic human rights of the Palestinian people with impunity and without accountability.”

She also called on all concerned states and organizations “to work on ensuring accountability and ending Israel’s shameful legacy of mass incarceration and oppression.”

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