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Press Release, Right to Education Campaign, 18 January 2005
Over 800 Palestinian administrative detainees, held in Israeli military detention centers, are on strike against the illegality of prolonged detentions without charge or trial. The strike against the Israeli Occupation’s military legal system began 1 month ago, on 19 December 2004. The striking prisoners are refusing to take part in any military court proceedings, until the Israeli military authorities meet their demand that prisoners should be either charged or released after the maximum 6 month period of ‘administrative detention’ has expired.
Even according to Israeli law, orders for administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial – cannot be for more than a maximum of 6 months. In reality, detention orders are repeatedly extended so that many prisoners, including student and child prisoners, have been held in administrative detention for years.
Khader Qados, a student of Civil Engineering at Birzeit University, has been imprisoned without charge, trial, or access to any information relating to his case for over two years. Khader is being held in Keseot (Naqab) military detention center, where 782 out of the total 869 Palestinian administrative detainees are currently held:
* 18 have been held in administrative detention for over two-and-a-half years
* 100 have been held in administrative detention for over one-and-a-half years
* 148 have had their administrative detention orders extended more than once
* 15 are child prisoners (under 18 years old)
There are currently 76 Birzeit University student prisoners, 11 of them are being held without charge in administrative detention, and two-thirds of them have not been to trial. The Right to Education Campaign at Birzeit University condemns the use of administrative detention outright and demands the release of Khader Qados and other prisoners who have been arrested and imprisoned in contravention of international law which explicitly states that “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention”.