Long-serving Palestinian prisoner transferred as family fears re-imposed life sentence


Longtime Palestinian prisoner Nael Barghouthi is at risk for the re-imposition of the life sentence against him, reported his wife Iman Nafie to the Asra Media Center. Barghouthi, 59, from the village of Kobar near Ramallah, was first detained in 1978 at the age of 20.

He has spent more than 35 years in Israeli prisons. Released in 2011 as part of the Wafa al-Ahrar exchange by Palestinian resistance organizations for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Barghouthi married Nafie, a fellow ex-prisoner. In 2014, he was among over 60 of these former prisoners rounded up in a series of mass re-arrests. Today, he is one of over 50 who remains re-imprisoned.

Under an Israeli military order, the Israeli occupation forces claim the right to re-impose the prison sentence of any prisoner released in an exchange on the basis of secret evidence, including alleged “support for” or “association with” prohibited organizations, including all major Palestinian political parties. Many of the re-arrested prisoners, like Samer Mahroum, Ala Bazian and Nidal Zaloom, had their life sentences reimposed against them. Barghouthi was ordered to 30 months mprisonment on 25 November 2015. He completed those 30 months of imprisonment earlier in the month; however, he has not been released as the Israeli military prosecution have filed an appeal calling for the reinstatement of his life sentence.

Rather than preparing for his release, he was transferred from the Negev desert prison to Ramon prison on 21 November. Nafie noted that the family fears this is in preparation for his life sentence being reimposed; she noted that she is awaiting a decision before 7 December in this case. Nafie has been barred from visiting her husband under the pretext of security, while his brother Omar is imprisoned under administrative detention without charge or trial and will be released later in the year. His sister Hanan is the only family member allowed to visit him in prison.

Nafie urged action to release all of the re-imprisoned released prisoners of the Wafa al-Ahrar agreement.