Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Magistrates’ Court Orders One Week Remand of Arab Political Leaders who Took Part in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla
ADALAH PRESS RELEASE
2 June 2010
Magistrates’ Court Orders One Week Remand of Arab Political Leaders who Took Part in the
Freedom Flot Gaza illa
Legal defense team: “The court’s decision to detain the Arab political leaders who took part in the
Freedom Flot Gaza illa is discriminatory and constitutes selective prosecution. They are not being detained because of their Israeli citizenship but because they are Palestinian Arab citizens of . Instead, the Israeli m Israel ilitary, which attacked the ship and its passengers, should be investigated for violations of international law.”
) Last night, 1 June 2010, Judge Dina Cohen of the Magistrates’ Court in Ashkelon, after a nine-hour hearing before a packed courtroom, decided to extend the detention of Arab political leaders — Mr. Muhammed Zeidan, the Chairman of the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel; Sheikh Raed Salah, the Head of the Islamic Movement in Israel (northern branch); and Sheikh Hamad Abu Daabes, the Head of the Islamic Movement in Israel (southern branch) — and Ms. Lubna Masarwa of the Free Gaza Movement and Al Quds University for one week, unt Haifa, Israel il 8 June 2010.
The four Palestinian Arab citizens of
were arrested from the ship Mavi Marmara, part of the Gaza Freedom Flot Israel illa, which was attacked by the Israeli navy on 31 May 2010. Adalah Attorneys Hassan Jabareen and Orna Kohn, as well as Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein, and Attorney Khaled Zabargha of the Al Mezan Legal Center in represented the four before the court. Nazareth
ile no indictment has been issued, the state argues that a range of criminal offenses could apply, including conspiracy to commit an offense, and possession and use of weapons. The state prosecution clearly emphasized in court that their request to remand the leaders was made in accordance with the state’s policy of investigating and detaining citizens of who participated in the Gaza Freedom Flot Israel illa.
In the view of the legal defense team, the state’s request and the court’s decision contradict the basic principles of criminal law, which require that individuals should be criminalized solely on the basis of their individual deeds. The prosecution argued that the Israeli naval soldiers were attacked by the passengers on the ship; however, they did not furnish any evidence to demonstrate that one of these four individuals had participated in or were responsible for the attack.
Further, the legal defense team asserts that the decision discriminates against the detainees and amounts to selective prosecution due solely to their national belonging. They are not being detained because of their Israeli citizenship but because they are Palestinian Arab citizens of
The attorneys raised numerous preliminary arguments before the court in arguing for the release of the four leaders. They argued that the Israeli courts had no jurisdiction over the case, as the ship had been in international waters at the time of the Israeli navy’s attack. The state prosecution was unable to respond to the question of what the legal authority of the Israeli m
ilitary was to attack the boat in international waters.
The attorneys also argued that the detention was
illegal, prima facie, as the law requires those arrested to be brought before a court within 24 hours. In this case, however, the four individuals were kept in detention for almost 40 hours before being brought to court. The state prosecution and the police argued that the hours of detention should be calculated only from time that the ship reached the The defense attorneys countered that since their liberty was taken from them when they were arrested on the ship, the detention began with their arrest. They were not allowed to meet a lawyer and were not brought before a judge within the limits of the law. Ashdod Port.
ill submit an appeal against the decision to remand them in custody to the District Court of Beer el-Sabe tomorrow, 3 June 2010.
Adalah (“Justice” in Arabic) is an independent human rights organization and legal center based in
. It works to promote and defend the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians living under occupation in the OPT before Israeli courts. Visit our website: www.adalah.org Israel