58 Members of European Parliament issued a letter to European Union High Representative Federica Mogherina, urging action to free imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarian and political leader Khalida Jarrar. The letter was initiated by MEP Martina Anderson, of the GUE/NGL bloc, of Sinn Fein in Ireland. The text follows below:
High Representative Federica Mogherini
Rue de la Loi 200
1049 Brussels Belgium
13th April 2015
Honourable High Representative,
Recalling the European Parliament resolution of the 4th of September 2008 calling for “the immediate release of the imprisoned members of the Palestinian Legislative Council,” we urge the EU and its Member States to take immediate action in response to the arrest of PLC member Khalida Jarrar, and to ensure the release of all sixteen detained members of the PLC.
We express our strongest condemnation of the latest Israeli escalation against Palestinian legislators and the suppression of the Palestinian political leadership, namely the arrest of PLC member Khalida Jarrar after a raid on her family home in Ramallah at approximately 01:00.
Jarrar is a prominent feminist and advocate for the rights of Palestinian political prisoners. She is the Palestinian representative on the Council of Europe and chair of the Prisoners’ Committee of the PLC. Jarrar is also Vice President of the Board of Directors of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a prominent Palestinian human rights NGO, and its former Executive Director.
The arrest of Jarrar comes approximately seven months after an Israeli military court attempted to forcibly transfer her on August 20, 2014, from her home in Ramallah to Jericho.
Jarrar set up a protest tent in the PLC headquarters and received widespread international and Palestinian support, causing the order to be shortened to one month and therefore quashed on September 16, 2014. This attempt to forcibly transfer a person under occupation is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and was widely condemned around the world, including by Members of European Parliament.
Jarrar is also a member of the Palestinian national follow-up commission for the International Criminal Court. The arrest of Jarrar is a clearly political attempt to undermine Palestinian leadership and thwart Palestinian attempts to pursue justice in the International Criminal Court.
The arrest of Jarrar and other Members of the Palestinian Parliament and their transfer from occupied territory into Israel are not only in violation of Articles 49 and 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention but also blatantly violate international conventions and practices regarding the immunity of elected officials. Palestinian parliamentarians are frequently held in dministrative detention without charge or trial, or tried in military courts that are mechanisms to produce a political result and in no way meet standards for a fair trial.
We call for the immediate release of Jarrar and all detained Palestinian parliamentarians and an immediate and definitive halt of all measures targeting our Palestinian Parliamentary colleagues, including arrests and expulsions from Jerusalem.
We urge you to use your position to garner support among institutions of the EU and its Member States and work to persuade them to take meaningful action to place significant pressure on Israel to ensure the release of Jarrar and Palestinian political prisoners, including all 16 detained members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
1. Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL)
2. Lynn Boylan (GUE/NGL)
3. Liadh Ní Riada (GUE/NGL)
4. Matt Carthy (GUE/NGL)
5. Neoklis Sylikiotis (GUE/NGL)
6. Patrick Le Hyaric (GUE/NGL)
7. Angela Vallina (GUE/NGL)
8. Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL)
9. Fabio De Masi (GUE/NGL)
10. Anne-Marie Mineur (GUE/NGL)
11. Malin Bjork (GUE/NGL)
12. Gabi Zimmer (GUE/NGL)
13. Dimitris Papadimoulis (GUE/NGL)
14. Marina Albiol Guzman (GUE/NGL)
15. Iosu Juaristi (GUE/NGL)
16. Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL)
17. Kostas Chrysogonos (GUE/NGL)
18. Lidia Sendra (GUE/NGL)
19. Paloma Lopez (GUE/NGL)
20. Joao Ferreira (GUE/NGL)
21. Ines Zuber (GUE/NGL)
22. Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL)
23. Margrete Auken (Greens/EFA)
24. Ivo Vajgl (ALDE)
25. Josep-Maria Terricabras (Greens/EFA)
26. Javier Couso Permuy (GUE/NGL)
27. Marita Ulvskog (S&D)
28. Tanja Fajon (S&D)
29. Molly Scott Cato (Greens/EFA)
30. Javier Lopez (S&D)
31. Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA)
32. Manolis Glezos (GUE/NGL)
33. Nessa Childers (S&D)
34. Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE)
35. Younous Omarjee (GUE/NGL)
36. Bart Staes (Greens/EFA)
37. Eleonora Forenza (GUE/NGL)
38. Takis Hadjigeorgiou (GUE/NGL)
39. Curzio Maltese (GUE/NGL)
0. Maria Dolores Lola Sanchez Caldentey (GUE/NGL)
41. Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL)
42. Sofia Sakorafa (GUE/NGL)
43. Jordi Sebastia (Greens/EFA)
44. Alfred Sant (S&D)
45. Klaus Buchner (Greens/EFA)
46. Edouard Martin (S&D)
47. Kati Piri (S&D)
48. Kostadinka Kuneva (GUE/NGL)
49. Merja Kyllonen (GUE/NGL)
50. Brando Benifei (S&D)
51. Keith Taylor (Greens/EFA)
52. Martina Michels (GUE/NGL)
53. Jill Evans (Greens/EFA)
54. Norbert Neuser (S&D)
55. Luke Ming Flanagan (GUE/NGL)
56. Miguel Urbán Crespo (GUE/NGL)
57. Alyn Smith (Greens/EFA)
58. Pablo Iglesias (GUE/NGL)