RAMALLAH, Sunday, February 13, 2022 (WAFA) – For 44 consecutive days in a row, Palestinian prisoners held without trial or charge in Israeli jails are continuing their boycott of Israel’s military courts in protest of Israel’s widely condemned policy of administrative detention.
The administrative detention mechanism allows the detention of Palestinians without charge or trial for renewable periods ranging between three and six months based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is not allowed to review.
Since the beginning of this year, some 500 Palestinian administrative detainees started refusing to show up for their court sessions. The boycott includes the hearings to approve or renew 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 insist that their move comes as a continuation of longstanding efforts “to put an end to the unjust administrative detention practiced against our people by the occupation forces”.
The detainees also say that Israel’s use of the policy has expanded in recent years to include women, children and elderly people.
Human rights groups describe Israel’s use of the practice as “systematic and arbitrary”, and as a form of collective punishment, noting that its extensive use constitutes a violation of international law “particularly relating to internationally recognized principles of a fair trial.”