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keyword: Administrative Detention | Children

MOATASEM RAED YOUNIS MUZHER

Date of birth: 23 October 1993
Place of residence: Qalandiya Refugee Camp
Occupation: Student
Date of arrest: 20 March 2010
Place of detention: Ofer Prison
Number of administrative detention orders: Three
First administrative detention order: 27 March 2010
Second administrative detention order: 26 June 2010
Third administrative detention order: 26 September 2010
Date of Release: 26 December 2010
Duration of detention without charge or trial: 282
 
 
ARREST
 
Moatasem was arrested at approximately 3 a.m. on 20 March 2010 when Israeli soldiers broke down the front door and stormed his family’s home in Qalandiya Refugee Camp. Awoken to find heavily armed soldiers in his room, Moatasem was immediately restrained with his hands tied behind his back. Led out of the home wearing only pajamas, Moatasem requested to put on warm clothes, but the soldiers only allowed him to put on sandals.
 
He was then led, blindfolded and still restrained, down the road outside his house to the main road where the soldiers’ military vehicles were parked. The soldiers removed Moatasem’s blindfold and asked his name. After confirming his identity with a photograph, the soldiers put the blindfold back on Moatasem and led him into one of their vehicles. During his transfer, a soldier ordered Moatasem to place his head on his knees and slapped him every time he tried to sit up. Moatasem recalls that this caused him 'extreme pain.’ At no time during this process was Moatasem told why he was being arrested, or where he was being taken.
 
Moatasem was then taken to an undisclosed location and made to fill out a medical form before being left tied up outside near two shipping containers. He remained there, cold and shivering for many hours, hearing only threatening sounds of dogs and soldiers. Towards the morning, a soldier brought him a blanket.
 
At around 2 p.m., Moatasem was taken in another military vehicle to Ofer Military Base near Ramallah. After his arrival at Ofer, he was strip-searched and forced to sit naked on the ground until he was given a brown prison uniform. Moatasem was then taken to a cell holding both adults and children.
 
INTERROGATION
 
On 22 March 2010, Moatasem was taken to Binyamin police station for interrogation. Arriving at the police station at 8:30 a.m., he waited for more than five hours with his hands and feet shackled. At 2 p.m., he was taken into an interrogation room for questioning. He remained shackled at the hands and feet the whole time. Moatasem recalled to DCI-Palestine that: “I sat in the chair in the interrogation room while my hands and feet were still shackled. Then, the interrogator started asking me about the plot without explaining what the plot was. 'I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ I said to him and he asked me about the riot, bullets and weapons without giving any further explanation. I denied knowledge because I really didn’t know what he was talking about and I really had nothing to do with those things. Then, he asked me about the internet and a guy named Mohammad from Gaza I chat with. I told him I didn’t know Mohammad that well. I met him in some chat room and we talk about school and tests and so on. 'Liar,’ the interrogator said to me and kept focusing on asking me about this guy.” [1]
 
According to Moatasem, the Israeli interrogator then threatened to send him to Moskobiyyeh, a detention center in Jerusalem notorious for its torture and ill-treatment during interrogations of Palestinian prisoners. The interrogator then gave him a handwritten paper to sign, but Moatasem refused because he could not read the writing.
 
Moatasem was then sent back to the prison at Ofer Military Base where he was detained for the duration of his administrative detention.
 
ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION
 
On 27 March 2010, Moatasem received an administrative detention order for six months. Military court judge Tzvi Hiilbron confirmed the order at the judicial review on 15 April 2010, citing undisclosed allegations in the secret information that Moatasem was involved in the planning of an unnamed activity, but reduced it to a period of three months. Judge Hiilbron found that, although the secret information indicated that Moatasem constituted “a threat to the security of the area”, the detainee’s young age must be taken into account. Moatasem’s administrative detention order was renewed twice on 26 June and 26 September 2010, each time for a period of three months, and he was finally released on 26 December 2010.
 
PERSONAL INFORMATION
 
Although Moatasem’s family applied for a permit to visit him at Ofer, the family never received a reply to their application and were not able to visit him during his detention.
 
Palestinian children are being routinely detained in prison facilities outside occupied territory, in contravention of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) and IPS regulations. This contravention, in practice, means that family visits for detained children made significantly more difficult, and in some cases, are denied altogether.
 
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Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold detainees indefinitely on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. In the occupied Palestinian West Bank, the Israeli army is authorized to issue administrative detention orders against Palestinian civilians on the basis of Military Order 1651. This order empowers military commanders to detain an individual for up to six month renewable periods if they have “reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention.” On or just before the expiry date, the detention order is frequently renewed. This process can be continued indefinitely.
 
For more information about Addameer's Campaign to Stop Administrative Detention please visit our 
 

[1] DCI-Palestine, Urgent Appeal-Administrative Detention (available at: http://www.dci-pal.org/english/display.cfm?DocId=1437&CategoryId=1

 

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