Amnesty International Canada

Urgent Action

Israel: Palestinian Lawyer's Detention Extended  

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UPDATE: On September 4, Salah Hammouri's detention was renewed again for another three months. Please continue to take action.

French-Palestinian human rights defender Salah Hammouri has been held without charge or trial since March 7, 2022 under a three-month administrative detention order. On June 5, the day before the administrative order was due to expire and he was due to be released, Salah Hammouri was was told that the order was extended for another three months.

Salah Hammouri is also at real risk of deportation as Israel’s Ministry of Interior has taken action to revoke his residency status in East Jerusalem. 

This is not the first time the Israeli authorities have targeted Salah Hammouri. Since 2000, he has been detained multiple times, twice placed under administrative detention – for five months in 2004 and for 13 months in 2017. This had a devastating effect on his ability to carry out his human rights work and to lead a normal family life. 

Amnesty International is calling on Israeli authorities to release Salah Hammouri immediately or promptly charge him with an internationally recognizable offence and ensure that he is allowed to keep his residency status in Jerusalem and continue his human rights work without fear of reprisals. 

French-Palestinian lawyer and field researcher Salah Hammouri, November 8, 2021 Photo: ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images

Salah Hammouri work for the Palestinian NGO Addameer. a legal aid and prisoners’ rights NGO that - together with five other civil society groups - was declared a “terrorist organization” by the Israeli government in October 2021. UN human rights experts condemned this move as a misuse of anti-terrorism legislation and the European Union has indicated that Israel has failed to provide sufficient evidence for this designation. 

Under administrative detention in Israel, individuals are detained by state authorities without intent to prosecute them in a criminal trial. Orders can be renewed indefinitely, and evidence is kept secret, meaning that detainees are not able to effectively challenge their detention and do not know when they will be released. According to Addameer, as of May 2022, there were 600 Palestinians held in administrative detention.

Israel’s systematic use of administrative detention violates international human rights law and results in arbitrary detention. When prolonged or repeated, it can amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. Amnesty International has also shown that Israel’s use of administrative detention constitutes an inhuman act perpetrated to maintain its system of apartheid over Palestinians, which is a crime against humanity. 


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