Kayed refuses to attend military court hearing on administrative detention; delayed until 6 July


The Israeli Ofer military court delayed its hearing to confirm the six-month administrative detention order against hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayed this morning, 22 June. Kayed refused to attend today’s hearing, stating that he did not recognize the legitimacy of the administrative detention order or the military court.

Kayed’s lawyer, Farah Bayadsi of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, said in Hadaf News that the hearing was delayed until 6 July. Kayed is on hunger strike for the ninth day, held in solitary confinement, in protest of the administrative detention order against him issued upon the completion of his 14 1/2 year sentence in Israeli prison.

Bayadsi said that that she requested Kayed’s full Shin Bet file, including the records of his interrogation, noting that both Kayed’s administrative detention and solitary confinement are based on the “secret file.” She demanded access to this secret file, including the intelligence agency’s information therein, from the military court.

Over 120 prisoners associated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Kayed’s leftist Palestinian party, are currently engaged in a protest hunger strike for several days demanding Kayed’s release. Palestinian prisoners highlight the threat that this case poses to all Palestinian prisoners serving lengthy sentences – that they could, rather than being released at the end of their sentence, be indefinitely detained under administrative detention orders as a systematic policy. There are over 700 Palestinians held under administrative detention without charge or trial.

The striking prisoners have faced harsh repression; their rooms have been closed and personal belongings and electronic devices confiscated. They have been barred from receiving family visits. Wael Jaghoub, a leader of the strike and of the PFLP in Israeli prisons, has been transferred from Ramon prison to an unknown location as of 22 June. Jaghoub, imprisoned since 2001, is serving a life sentence, and is one of the leaders in the prisoners’ movement, frequently subjected to transfer and isolation.

There is a Palestinian, Arab and international campaign for Kayed’s freedom; over 150 organizations have signed on to the call to action for international solidarity with Kayed on 24 and 25 June, and actions are or have taken place in New York, Berlin, Brussels, Den Haag, Athens, Torino, Dublin and elsewhere in solidarity with Kayed and demanding his immediate release.