Palestinian intellectual Ahmed Qatamesh released after three months imprisoned without charge

Palestinian writer and intellectual Dr. Ahmed Qatamesh was released from Israeli occupation prisons on Sunday, 13 August after three months held without charge or trial under administrative detention.

He had been held without charge or trial since 13 May 2017, when he was seized from his family home in El-Bireh by Israeli occupation forces. Qatamesh, 63, was last released from administrative detention nearly 4 years ago; at the time, he had been imprisoned without charge or trial for two and one-half years. Between 1992 and 1998, he was the longest-held Palestinian prisoner in administrative detention; his detention was renewed every six months for nearly six years. Since his release, he has been banned from leaving Palestine and traveling by Israeli occupation military orders.

He has been arrested repeatedly by Israeli occupation forces over the years, including in 1969 and again in 1972, when he was jailed for 4 years. He lived “underground” evading capture by occupation forces for 17 years.

His memoir, I Shall Not Wear Your Tarboush, recalls his time in prison as well as the 100 days of torture he underwent during interrogation in 1992. Since his release in 1998, he has become a prominent Palestinian intellectual, writer and teacher; he is the founder of the Munif Barghouthi Research Center.

His case was taken up by Amnesty International, among others, who demanded his release as a prisoner of conscience.

There remain approximately 500 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention. Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable and can be issued for up to six months at a time. Like Qatamesh was in the past on multiple occasions, Palestinians can be imprisoned indefinitely for years on end under these orders.