Palestinian astrophysicist Imad Barghouthi was ordered to two months in administrative detention without charge or trial by the Israeli Ofer military court on Wednesday, 11 May, reported the Palestinian Prisoners Society. Barghouthi, whose case has drawn the support of prominent scientists and academics around the world, was originally ordered to three months in administrative detention by military order.
While Israeli administrative detention is without charge or trial and on the basis of secret evidence, Jawad Boulos, Barghouthi’s lawyer, said that his detention was over Facebook postings. Barghouthi, 54, a professor at Al-Quds University and a former employee of NASA in the United States, was detained in late April by Israeli occupation forces at a checkpoint in Nabi Saleh.
Boulos stated that they would be appealing Barghouthi’s detention. He is among 750 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention; 150 Palestinians have been arrested over social media postings. On Monday, 9 May, Majd Atwan, a 22-year-old Palestinian woman, was sentenced to 45 days imprisonment for Facebook postings. Palestinian journalist Sami al-Saee, reporter with Al-Fajr TV from Tulkarem, was accused on Wednesday, 11 May, of “incitement” for posting on Facebook; he will have a military court hearing on 15 May, in which the military prosecution has demanded a nine-month sentence. Al-Saee has been imprisoned since 9 March without charge, among 19 Palestinian journalists in Israeli prisons.