The administrative detention order for an additional six months’ imprisonment without charge or trial against Palestinian circus perforer and trainer Mohammed Abu Sakha was confirmed by an Israeli military court, reported Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. Abu Sakha’s detention will remain in place from 13 June to 12 December 2016; he was arrested on 14 December 2015 as he traveled to his workplace in Bir Zeit.
Abu Sakha’s case has drawn widespread international support; he and the Circus School are well-known and have performed around the world. Prior to his arrest, Abu Sakha was scheduled to perform in international tours and circus trainings in March and June 2015.
Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable for one to six months at a time; there are approximately 750 Palestinians held currently in administrative detention. The practice began in Palestine under the British colonial mandate and was re-imposed by the Israeli occupation.
The renewal order against Abu Sakha is not alone – Palestinian prisoner Kayed Abu Rish, who has been held in administrative detention since January 2015 had his petition against the renewal of his administrative detention rejected by Israeli military courts on 15 June. Abu Rish, who has engaged in multiple hunger strikes, individually and collectively, previously spent 17 years in Israeli jails and has been arrested 10 times. In August 2015, he engaged in a hunger strike, which he ended after a commitment to not renew his detention; instead, two new orders against him have been issued.
On 15 June, Israeli occupation military commanders also extended the administrative detention of Qalqilya imam Sheikh Mujahid Nofal for six months, held under administrative detention since 10 November 2015; and Ismail Tamezi, of Al-Khalil, for an additional four months, following 10 months held without charge or trial. On Monday, 13 June, Saif al-Islam Daghlas was ordered to an additional six months in administrative detention without charge or trial. Daghlas is the previous Chair of the Students’ Union at Bir Zeit University, representing the Islamic Bloc. In total, 26 administrative detention orders were confirmed, including orders against former hunger strikers, Thaer Halahleh, who after his 2014 re-arrest has had his detention renewed five times, and Mahmoud al-Fasfous, whose hunger strike had earlier ended with a promise to not renew his detention.
Fellow administrative detainee Nassar Nassar has been on hunger strike for 7 days in protest of his administrative detention; he was arrested three months ago on 15 March and ordered to six months’ administrative detention. After his petition, like Abu Rish’s, was rejected at appeal, he began his open hunger strike. He has been held in solitary confinement since he began his strike. At the same time, Malik Qadi is continuing on hunger strike for the 24th day in protest of his torture and harsh conditions under interrogation.