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Photo: Abdul-Razeq Farraj standing in front of his home in Ramallah.
Palestinian detainees announced a mass hunger strike on April 24, 2014, pressuring Israel to end its administrative detention policy—which allows people to be held without charge or trial, authorized by administrative order—and release people currently being held under this policy.
There are currently 183 Palestinians being held in administrative detention, and 125 of them are on hunger strike. At least 43 hunger strikers have been transferred to hospital facilities. Recently, many stopped taking non-food supplements, meaning they are at risk of dying.
Take action: Demand an end to Israel’s administrative detention policy.
Administrative detention is a procedure used by Israel to imprison Palestinians indefinitely without charge or trial. Administrative detention orders are issued by the Israeli military and allow for the detention of Palestinians for periods ranging from one to six months. These orders can be renewed indefinitely and are issued based on secret information that is not accessible to either the individual who has been detained or their lawyer. Administrative detention is most often used to imprison Palestinian political and human rights activists when there is insufficient evidence to try them with violating any of nearly 2,000 specific military orders that Israel uses to govern the occupied Palestinian territory.
One of the prisoners now on hunger strike is Abdul-Razeq Farraj. Farraj was detained when the Israeli military raided his home in Ramallah on the night of February 25, 2014. Following his arrest, Farraj was issued a six-month administrative detention order, which was upheld by the Israeli military court during a hearing held on March 4, 2014.
According to the Palestinian human rights organization Addameer, at his court hearing, the military prosecutor accused Farraj of being a leader of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and of “guiding and directing” PFLP members. However, the prosecutor provided no clarifying information regarding the type of activities Farraj was accused of engaging in, nor what type of “guidance” he had provided to other PFLP members. All clarifying questions by Farraj’s defense team were left unanswered by the military prosecutor, who claimed that all of the details regarding Farraj’s activism were included in a “secret file” that was not accessible to the defense.
Farraj’s current condition remains uncertain because of restrictions on his access to his lawyer and a complete ban on visits by his wife and children. On May 4, his son Basil told the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC):
“We were informed that my father was recently transported from the hospital to isolation at Ayalon prison, but we are still unclear about this move. We are not fully certain about his location and have no idea how he is doing. We are hoping to hear from a lawyer who is supposed to visit him tomorrow if the Israeli Prison Services allows for the visit.”
On May 5, Farraj’s lawyer confirmed that he had been transferred to a hospital, but he was not allowed to visit Farraj, whose family remains in the dark regarding the condition of his health.
Since 1985, Farraj has spent over 14 years in prison, including nearly eight years in administrative detention. All of his arrests and imprisonments are connected with his nonviolent political activism.
Farraj works as the Finance and Administration Director for the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), a non-governmental organization that works throughout the occupied Palestinian territory. UAWC’s mission is to support, strengthen, and empower Palestinian farmers and to help them realize their rights. The organization has received support from groups like the EU, World Vision, Save the Children, and other major international organizations.
Help reunite the Farraj family and all of the other families who are separated and suffering as a result of Israel’s administrative detention policy.
Act now! Demand an end to administrative detention!
Write to the Israeli government, military, and legal authorities, and demand the immediate release of Abdul Razeq Farraj and all of the other administrative detainees.
- Brigadier General Danny Efroni
Military Judge Advocate General
6 David Elazar Street
Harkiya, Tel Aviv
Fax: +972 3 608 0366; +972 3 569 4526
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon
OC Central Command Nehemia Base, Central Command
Neveh Yaacov, Jerusalam
Fax: +972 2 530 5741
- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak
Ministry of Defense
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 3 691 6940 / 696 2757
- Col. Eli Bar On
Legal Advisor of Judea and Samaria PO Box 5
Beth El 90631
Fax: +972 2 9977326
Contact your U.S. Congressional representative and urge them to demand that Israel end its unjust, arbitrary, and cruel administrative detention policy and release Abdul Razeq Farraj and all other Palestinian administrative detainees.
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