French-Palestinian human rights defender Salah Hamouri‘s six-month administrative detention order was replaced by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 5 September. Unfortunately, rather than being released, Hamouri was instead sentenced to three months’ imprisonment – the remainder of his former sentence when he was released in the 2011 Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange. (He was scheduled for release on 13 March 2012 and was released early on 18 December 2011.)
While in this specific case, the total amount of his sentence is half of the administrative detention order, it also highlights yet another unjust and unaccountable mechanism for sentencing former Palestinian prisoners – the arbitrary reimposition of former prison sentences on dubious grounds or no grounds at all, in many cases by a secret military committee. For example, Nael Barghouthi – and dozens of others – have seen former life sentences or other large sentences reimposed by a secret military committee.
Mahmoud Hassan of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Hamouri’s lawyer, noted that “this decision will not prevent Hamouri from being placed under administrative detention again even after he serves the rest of his previous sentence.” Administrative detetnion orders are indefinitely renewable.
Hassan also said that the Israeli prosecution and intelligence agency were opposed to the decision and had said they were filing an appeal – because they are seeking the longer administrative detention period without charge or trial for Hamouri. Addameer, where Hamouri is a field researcher, noted that they see this decision as a form of response to the international pressure calling for Hamouri’s release as an attempt to “legitimize” the sentence. In fact, it represents a continuing form of groundless, arbitrary detention of a human rights defender with no charge and no trial.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network reiterates its urgent demand for the immediate release of Salah Hamouri and all Palestinian prisoners and call for the French state to defend the rights of their citizen and take action for Salah Hamouri’s freedom. It is no less critical now; it must be made clear that it is unacceptable to imprison Hamouri – or any other Palestinian – without charge or trial. This is clearly an attempt on the part of the Israeli state to target an effective, local and international human rights defender working for Palestinian freedom.
The French state must take real action to demand freedom for Salah Hamouri, the Palestinian human rights defender. From the jails and the courts of the occupation to the cities and campuses of the world, he is a consistent and clear voice against oppression and for liberation. Free Salah Hamouri! Libérez Salah Hamouri!
1. SIGN this petition to French president Emanuel Macron and European officials. Demand that they act now to free Hamouri: https://www.change.org/p/emmanuel-macron-demand-the-immediate-release-of-human-rights-defender-salah-hamouri
2. SIGN this French-language petition to the French government to demand they act for Hamouri’s freedom: http://liberezsalahhamouri.wesign.it/fr
3. LIKE AND SHARE the Facebook page for Salah Hamouri, which will be regularly updated with news and actions to demand Salah’s freedom: https://www.facebook.com/freesalahhamouri/
4. ORGANIZE protests and actions to demand Salah’s release and that of his fellow Palestinian prisoners. Events are scheduled in Toulouse, Avignon, New York, Paris, Villerupt, Longwy, Saint-Etienne and more.