28 May 2015
Ofer military court judge Ronen Atsmon accepted the military prosecution’s appeal to keep Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Khalida Jarrar detained until the end of trial based on secret information, reversing the previous decision for her release on bail.
Judge Ronen Atsmon issued this decision today after the military prosecution appealed the 21 May 2015 decision by judge Chaim Balilti to release Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar on a 20,000 NIS bail. The prosecution had warned the court in the 21 May hearing that they intended to seek an administrative detention order against Mrs. Jarrar in the event that she is released.
According to Addameer’s Legal Director, Adv. Mahmoud Hassan, the judge’s decision to reverse the release order violates Mrs. Jarrar’s guaranteed right to a fair trial under international law. Judge Atsmon based his decision on secret information which was reviewed hastily by himself and the prosecution. The same secret file had previously been reviewed by judge Balilti, who determined it was not substantial enough to continue Mrs. Jarrar’s detention.
Adv. Mahmoud Hassan also reports that the judge’s decision depends solely on secret information and not based on the charges, effectively making this a case of unstated administrative detention. Mrs. Jarrar is not only denied her right to a fair trial, but most importantly her and the legal team are denied from reviewing the material the appeal decision was based on, barring the lawyers from the ability to build an effective defense.
Adv. Hassan also raises doubts of whether Atsmon reviewed the previous decision before accepting the appeal. In the Court of First Instances, Judge Balilti found that the charges against Mrs. Jarrar are based on activities that took place several years ago, and her detention today does not prove the current danger of previous activities. In his decision, Judge Balilti added that there is no justification for the prosecution’s failure to take any legal action against Mrs. Jarrar earlier. Today, Judge Atsmon contradicted this decision without detailed reasons, stating that the prosecution’s failure to take legal action is justified and appropriate considering the secret information.
The decision by judge Atsmon today confirms that the detention of PLC member Khalida Jarrar is vengeful, arbitrary and political, with an aim to punish her for her political opinions and activism for Palestinian human rights, especially in supporting Palestinian prisoners and detainees. Furthermore, her detention is intended to punish her for her roles as an elected PLC member, head of the prisoners committee within the legislature, an appointed member for the national committee for the follow-up of the International Criminal Court, and her outspoken views against the continued illegal Israeli occupation.
Mrs. Jarrar's next hearing will be on 22 June 2015, at Ofer Military Court.
Addameer demands the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and all special procedures especially the Special Rapportuer on Human Rights Defenders, Mr Michael Forst, the head of the Working Group against Arbitrary Detention, Mr. Seong-Phil Hong, to intervene immediately to release PLC member Khalida Jarrar.
The occupation forces arrested Mrs. Jarrar (52 years old) on 2 April 2015 from her home in Ramallah. The military commander initially issued a 6-month administrative detention order against her which was later limited to one month and two days. On 15 April 2015 the military prosecution issued a list of 12 charges against Khalida all of which revolve around her role as a political leader and PLC member.