Yesterday, Tuesday 2 March 2021, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association launched its campaign against Israeli military courts, titled "In the Case of the Palestinian People vs. Military Courts”. The launching event included a press conference near Ofer military court, with speakers from the Palestinian Prisoners' Society and Al-Haq, Defending Human Rights, with the presence of Palestinian civil society organizations, families of prisoners and former prisoners, Human Rights Watch representative, and wide media coverage.
Highlighting the importance of local and international awareness on the illegality of Israeli military courts, Addameer Director, Adv. Sahar Francis opened the press conference and explained the Israeli military judicial system's integral role in sustaining and feeding into the primary goal of establishing a comprehensive Israeli apartheid apparatus. Further noting the wide range of fair trial violations before Israeli military courts witnessed by lawyers, detainees, and former detainees.
The Chairman of the Palestinian Prisoners' Society, Mr. Fares Qadura, emphasized that no one is exempt from the Israeli occupation's various forms of arbitrary arrests and detentions, including women, children, the elderly, and human rights defenders: it is estimated that every family in the West Bank has had at least one member arrested, tried and/or imprisoned by the Israeli military authorities. Mr. Qadoura endorsed Addameer's campaign explaining that there is a need for a united Palestinian approach against Israeli military courts now more than ever.
Notting Israel's culture of impunity, Al-Haq Director, Mr. Shawan Jabarin, affirmed that the functioning of the Israeli military courts gives rise to serious violations of international law, including the war crime of intentionally denying Palestinian prisoners their right to a fair and regular trial under Article 8(2)(a)(6) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Mr. Jabarin further explained that accountability does not only fall on those who carry out the act directly but also on those who "fail to take all necessary and reasonable measures within his or her power to prevent it." Therefore, Israeli military judges may be prosecuted as war criminals.
Finally, Adv. Sahar Francis affirmed that Addameer's campaign against Israeli military courts does not seek to better the fair trial standards in Israeli military courts as it is redundant. The campaign primarily aims to end the trial of Palestinian civilians in Israeli military courts in accordance with the Occupying Power's responsibility under international law to ensure the respect of Palestinians' right to a fair and impartial trial. The campaign calls for international accountability and the end of the Israeli prolonged occupation and apartheid regime for the sake of the Palestinian people, including Palestinian political prisoners, quest for liberty, justice, and dignity.
Read More about the Campaign from Here: http://addameer.org/node/4318