Khitam Saafin, president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and prominent Palestinian human rights defender, was ordered to three months in administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, in an order signed on 9 July by the Israeli occupation military commander over the West Bank.
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association reported that a hearing to confirm the administrative detention order against her will be held at the Ofer Military Court on Wednesday, 12 July. Saafin was seized by Israeli occupation forces who raided her home in a pre-dawn attack simultaneous with a similar raid on the home of Palestinian national leader and leftist parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar and multiple other Palestinians.
She is a well-known international advocate for Palestinian women and freedom and justice for the Palestinian people. She has spoken around the world about the struggle of Palestinian women, including at the World Social Forum, and is the chair of the Global Women’s March Palestine.
Administrative detention orders are issued in one- to six-month periods and are indefinitely renewable. Issued on the basis of “secret evidence,” these orders can be renewed over and over again. Many Palestinians have spent years behind bars without charge or trial under administrative detention orders. Currently, there are approximately 500 Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails under administrative detention out of a total of 6,200 Palestinian political prisoners.
International protest and outrage has grown to demand the release of Saafin and Jarrar. Protests have taken place in Beirut, Madrid, Berlin, Toulouse, Belgium and elsewhere to express solidarity and call for the freedom of these imprisoned women leaders in the struggle for Palestinian national and social liberation.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges international mobilization and action to demand the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin, prominent Palestinian progressive and feminist leaders and strugglers committed to the freedom and liberation of their people. The arrests of Jarrar and Saafin clearly come as an attempt by the Israeli occupation to attack Palestinian popular movements and suppress them through fear, arrests and intimidation carried out by a massively armed occupation force.
We urge all friends of Palestine and the Palestinian people to join us in reactivating the Khalida Jarrar Solidarity Campaign as well as the campaign in solidarity with Khitam Saafin. These arrests represent an attack on the leaders, the political activity and the popular organizing of the Palestinian people. They must be met with intensified solidarity to demand the freedom of Khalida Jarrar, Khitam Saafin and all of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners behind bars in Israeli occupation prisons.
Take Action to support Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin:
1. Sign the petition! Sign and share this petition, demanding freedom for Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin immediately.
2. Contact your Member of Parliament, Representative, or Member of European Parliament. The attack on Khalida is an attack on Palestinian parliamentary legitimacy and political expression. The arrest of Khitam is an assault on the Palestinian women’s movement. Parliamentarians have a responsibility to pressure Israel to cancel this order.
3. Use the Campaign Resources to inform your community, parliamentarians and others about Khalida and Khitam’s case.
4. Protest at the Israeli consulate or embassy for Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin. Bring posters and flyers about Khalida and Khitam’s case and hold a protest, or join a protest with this important information. Hold a community event or discussion, or include Khalida and Khitam’s case in your next event about Palestine and social justice.
5. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. Learn more at bdsmovement.net.