Prominent Palestinian Jamal Barham was ordered to another three months in administrative detention without charge or trial on Thursday, 26 January. Barham, 56, the director of the Arab Studies Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization, has been imprisoned without charge or trial since 3 June 2015.
Barham’s home in the village of Ramin near Tulkarem was raided simultaneously with that of fellow Palestinian leftist Shaher al-Rai. His home was ransacked and the family’s electronic devices and memory cards confiscated, including those of his children, with their work as university students. He was taken to a military interrogation center and presented with confessions against him stating that he is active in the Palestinian leftist party, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Barham refused to confess or sign a statement and was transferred to administrative detention on 11 June. These “confessions” relate to political activity; one of them is over 20 years old.
Both Barham and al-Rai have been imprisoned without charge or trial since June 2015 under Israeli administrative detention; this marks the fifth renewal of Barham’s administrative detention. He is currently held in the Negev desert prison. Barham spent two and a half years in Israeli prison from 1984 to 1987 for his activities against the occupation; he was then labeled as “wanted” during the late 1990s and the beginning of the second Intifada.
Barham’s wife, Amira, is a coordinator of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees; they have three children, Ghassan, a medical student in Egypt; Majd, a new graduate in engineering from An-Najah University; and Jamil, an accounting student at Kaddouri University in Tulkarem.
Barham is one of 700 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention, and one of 7,000 total Palestinian prisoners.. These orders, issued for one to six month periods, are indefinitely renewable; Palestinians like Barham can spend years in administrative detention before release.