Report and Film: Administrative Detention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Report by Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

See here for a video which accompanies the report

Summary:
1. Administrative detention is a procedure whereby a person is detained without charge or trial.

2. Administrative detention is permitted under international law but with strict conditions. It should only be used as a last resort and on an individual, case-by-case basis. Only imperative reasons of security justify the use of administrative detention and it should not be used as a substitute for criminal prosecution when there is insufficient evidence.

3. The Israeli practice of administrative detention does not meet international standards set by international law for the following reasons:

(i). There is evidence that Israel widely practices the use of torture and corporal punishment;

(ii). Israel deports and incarcerates administrative detainees outside the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

(iii). There is evidence that Israel uses administrative detention as a form of collective punishment;

(iv). There is evidence that Israel widely engages in humiliating and degrading treatment of administrative detainees;

(v). Administrative detainees are usually not informed precisely of the reasons for their detention;

(vi). There is evidence that Israel uses administrative detention as a substitute for criminal prosecution when evidence is insufficient or non-existent

(vii). The process of making and reviewing administrative detention orders falls far short of what would be considered a fair trial

(viii). Israel holds administrative detainees for prolonged periods in contravention of the 4th Geneva Convention, which mandates that administrative detention take place for a very brief period of time

(ix). Administrative detainees are not given the right to communicate with their families up to international law standards;

(x). Administrative detainees are often denied regular family visits in accordance with international law standards; (xi). Israel regularly fails to separate administrative detainees from the regular prison population;

(xii). The conditions of detention regularly fall below an adequate standard required by international law; and,

(xiii). In the case of child detainees, Israel regularly fails to take into account the best interests of the child as required under international law.

4. Israel has historically ratified international agreements regarding human rights protection, whilst at the same time refusing to apply the agreements within the Occupied Palestinian Territory, attempting to create legal justifications for its illegal actions. However, there is general acceptance that the following international humanitarian law instruments apply to the OPT:

• The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949

• Article 75 of Additional Protocol I to the Fourth Geneva Convention

• The Hague Regulations There is general acceptance that the following international human rights law instruments apply to the Occupied Territories:

• The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

• The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

• The International Convention on the Rights of the Child

• UN Convention against Torture

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