Addameer: PA arrests 60 political detainees including 35 former prisoners

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association considers the campaign of political arrests launched by the Palestinian Authority security apparatus in the occupied West Bank since Tuesday, September 9, 2012 to be deeply dangerous.

Addameer has documented that the Preventive Security and General Intelligence are waging a campaign of arrests in several provinces in the West Bank and over 60 Palestinians, including released prisoners, writers and journalists, and youth activists, have been imprisoned.

Among the detainees are 35 liberated prisoners who spent long years behind bars in Israeli jails, some of whom participated in the recent prisoner hunger strikes and some who have been released for only a few months. One of the most prominent arrestees is former prisoner, researcher and legal specialist in prisoners affairs’, the director of the Ahrar Centre, Fuad al-Khuffash. Another is journalist Walid Khaled, who was released just two weeks ago from Israeli prisons after more than two years spent in administrative detention, a substantial amount of that in solitary confinement. He was one of the prisoners who participated in the mass 28-day hunger strike and also one of the 19 prisoners subject to the isolation policy of the Israeli Prison Service.

According to the families of some of the detainees, these arrests come following the arrests of former detainees for interrogation by the General Intelligence and Preventive Security almost immediately upon their release from Israeli jails.

The arrests were distributed geographically as follows: 11 detainees from Qalqilya; Tulkarem, 16 detainees; Nablus, 11 detaines; Salfit, 14 detainees; Hebron, 5 detainees; and one detainee from Jenin and Ramallah each.

The Addameer Foundation considers that this arrests come as a culmination of the continuous neglect by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza of achieving any true reconciliation. It is clear that they do not act in the best interests of the Palestinian people and are in fact harmful, especially on the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, where the claims of the Palestinian Authority to call for the release of prisoners and detainees from the prisons of the occupation are belied when the Palestinian Authority security apparatus arrests them after their release.

Addameer also confirms that these arrests are highly political in nature and threaten the security and peace of the Palestinian population. They do not serve to protect the Palestinian cause, address Israeli crimes against our people, our land and our holy places. Quite the contrary they deepen the internal Palestinian tensions and increase them to the stage where the occupation is the first and last beneficiary. Addameer demands the following from the Palestinian Authority:

First, the immediate release of all detainees due to these arrests which violate the letter and the spirit of the Palestinian Basic Law and the Code of Criminal Procedure, charters and human rights conventions.

Second, Addameer demands of the Palestinian Authority to stop the practice of political arrests and stop denying their responsibility for political arrests.

Third, the need to compel the security services and law enforcement officials to respect the people and their rights, to end the practice of political repression and suppression of speech that undermine our freedoms and collective and individual dignity.