Occupied Palestine – 500 Palestinian administrative detainees in Israeli prisons have been boycotting Israeli Military Courts for the 61st day in a row, in protest against their indefinite detention without charges or trials.
Palestinian prisoner advocacy groups said that in protest against their administrative detention without charges or trials by the Israeli occupation authorities, 500 Palestinian administrative detainees have been boycotting the Israeli Military Courts since January 1, 2022.
Among the 500 administrative detainees are 4 minors and a female.
The boycott includes the initial hearings to uphold the administrative detention order, as well as appeal hearings and later sessions at the Supreme Court.
Under the banner, “Our decision is freedom … no to administrative detention,” administrative detainees said in a statement their move comes as a continuation of longstanding Palestinian efforts “to put an end to the unjust administrative detention practiced against our people by the occupation forces”.
They also noted that Israel’s use of the policy has expanded in recent years to include women, children and elderly people.
“Israeli military courts are an important aspect for the occupation in its system of oppression,” the detainees said, describing the courts as a “barbaric, racist tool that has consumed hundreds of years from the lives of our people under the banner of administrative detention, through nominal and fictitious courts – the results of which are predetermined by the military commander of the region”.
Since March 2002, the number of Palestinians in administrative detention has never fallen below 100.
According to the Palestinian prisoner advocacy groups, there are now 4,500 Palestinians held in Israeli occupation jails, including 32 women, 180 minors, and 500 administrative detainees held without charge or trial.
The groups said in a recently-issued report that during the year of 2021, ‘Israel’ issued 1,595 administrative detention orders against the Palestinians while 1,114 administrative detention orders were issued in 2020.
The director of the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, attorney Sahar Francis, told Haaretz that “the authorities of the occupation are not honoring the limitations that international law has set on imposing administrative detentions and they are being done arbitrarily, something that is a war crime according to the occupation laws.”
According to Francis, the decision to boycott the legal system was made after many efforts were made to battle the administrative detention policy, including hunger strikes led by a few prisoners in recent months.
The Head of the Palestinian Commission of Detainees’ Affairs, Qadri Abu Baker, also confirmed the importance of supporting the administrative detainees in their struggle, represented in boycotting the military courts of the occupation.
He also stated that the policy of administrative detention has been practiced increasingly against Palestinians, where it depends on Mock trials and based on “confidential files” without taking into consideration the standards of fair trials, and the detainee and his lawyer are prevented from knowing the cause of detention.
According to Palestinian prisoner advocacy groups, in 2020 only, the Israeli occupation authorities issued 1,114 administrative detention orders while in 2021, 1595 administrative detention orders were issued.
In January 2022, ‘Israel’ issued 96 administrative detention orders: 51 new orders and 45 renewal orders.