Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Addameer Submits Urgent Appeal to UN Protesting Arbitrary Arrest and Detention of Ameer Makhoul as zionists Crackdown on Palestinian Civil Society

Gag Order Lifted in Makhoul Case, but Ban on Contact with Lawyers is Renewed

On 6 May 2010, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association submitted an urgent appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders on behalf of
Ittijah General Director Ameer Makhoul, a Palestinian citizen of (Israel), who was arrested by (Israeli) authorities from his home in Haifa early that morning and detained at Petah Tikva interrogation center. The urgent appeal seeks immediate intervention by the UN body in Mr. Makhoul’s case on the grounds that his arrest, detention and a recent order banning him from exiting the country are arbitrary, politically motivated measures and constitute persecution of a human rights defender in violation of international law.

On Friday, 7 May 2010, the court at Petah Tikva denied an appeal challenging an order banning Mr. Makhoul from meeting with his attorneys for a four-day period that was issued in a hearing held only hours after his arrest. The ban was renewed for two days prior to its expiration on Sunday 9 May at midnight and is now set to expire at midnight on Tuesday 11 May. Mr. Makhoul’s lawyers expect the order to be renewed again on its expiration.

Meanwhile, the gag order prohibiting (Israeli) publication of any mention of Mr. Makhoul’s arrest or any of the related circumstances or procedures was lifted following appeals filed by Adalah and others against the court-ordered ban on Friday. Earlier today, the (Israeli) Security Agency (ISA) replied to the petitions, telling the court that they “don’t mind” if the ban is removed. News articles detailing Mr. Makhoul’s case appeared in various online (Israeli) media sources soon after.

The next hearing in Mr. Makhoul’s case, to determine whether his detention will again be extended, is scheduled to be heard in the first instance court at Petah Tikva on Wednesday 12 May.

Addameer views Ameer Makhoul’s arrest, detention and travel ban as deliberate violations of the complainant’s fundamental freedoms, particularly freedoms of movement, expression, association and non-violent assembly, and of the special protections owed under international law to human rights defenders. Furthermore, as Mr. Makhoul’s arrest warrant and travel ban order are based on emergency regulations and “secret” information that is never disclosed to the defense, Addameer considers them to be arbitrary political actions in violation of fundamental due process principles and human rights standards.

Addameer thus urges foreign government officials, including members of foreign representative offices to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and foreign Consulates in East Jerusalem, as well as representatives of the European Commission and the European Parliament, human rights organizations and United Nations bodies to:
§ Raise Ameer Makhoul’s case in their official meetings with (Israeli) officials;
§ Demand clarifications regarding the reason for Mr. Makhoul’s arrest and extended detention in official letters addressed to (Israeli) authorities;
§ Demand Mr. Makhoul’s immediate release and the lifting of the travel ban against him;
§ Pressure (Israel) to put an end to its policy of arbitrary detention and deportation of human rights defenders; and,
§ Expand the military courts monitoring project to include monitoring of (Israeli) courts viewing cases of Palestinian citizens of (Israel) under political detention.

Addameer also urges the international community to take action to help Ameer Makhoul by:
§ Writing to the (Israeli) government, military and legal authorities and demand that:
o Mr. Makhoul be released immediately, and the travel ban against him be lifted;
o (Israeli) security authorities immediately cease their unlawful arrest and detention policies of Palestinian human rights defenders; and,
o (Israeli) authorities end the practice of arbitrary detention, the use of ‘secret information’, and incommunicado detention.

Eli Yishai Yehuda Weinstein
Minister of the Interior Attorney General
2 Kaplan St., Qiryat Ben-Gurion 29 Salah A-Din St.

P.O. Box 6158, Jerusalem Jerusalem

Tel. +972 (0)2 670 1411 Tel. +972 (0)2 646 6521/2
Fax: +972 (0)2 6467001

War Criminal Benjamin Netanyahu
Office of the Prime Minister
3, Kaplan Street, PO Box 187
Kiryat Ben-Gurion, Jerusalem
Fax: +972 (02) 651 2631

§ Write to your own elected and diplomatic representatives urging them to pressure (Israel) to release Mr. Makhoul and to put an end to the ongoing harassment against Palestinian human rights defenders.

Contact details for international embassies and consulates in (Israel) are available at:

§ Write to the
International Bar Association to protest Israel’s use of arbitrary detention and the use of ‘secret information’ and incommunicado detentions: and,
§ Write to
Baroness Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Vice President of the European Commission urging European intervention with Israel regarding political prosecutions inside Israel and current and pending legislation that outlaws human rights organizations.

For more information on the (Israeli) campaign of repression against Palestinian human rights defenders, please visit our website:
www.addameer.info or contact us directly:

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
Tel: +972 (0)2 296 0446 / 297 0136
Fax: +972 (0)2 296 0447

Visit the web blog on Ameer Makhoul for updated information:

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