Amnesty International issues urgent action for circus performer Mohammad Abu Sakha

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15 December 2016

Amnesty International calls for urgent action on the administrative detention of Palestinian trainer and circus performer Mohammad Abu Sakha, 25, who had his administrative detention order renewed on Sunday, 11 December 2016. 

Abu Sakha has been imprisoned in Israeli prisons without charge or trial for a year. He was arrested on 14/12/2015 at around 4:00 pm while he was crossing Zaatara military checkpoint near Nablus to go to his work in Birzeit village, near Ramallah. Abu Sakha has been with the Palestinian Circus School since 2007. He became a performer and a trainer in the circus in 2011. He has participated in various performances in Europe and the United States. He has also participated in numerous circus tours in Palestine. Abu Sakha was supposed to participate in international circus trainings in March and June 2016. 

The initial six-month administrative detention order was issued against Abu Sakha starting from 25/12/2015 and was set to end on 13/06/2016. However, it was further renewed twice for an additional six months each time. Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold detainees indefinitely on secret evidence without charging them or allowing them to stand trial.

Amnesty International said it "fears that the Israeli authorities – as they have done in many other such cases – are using administrative detention as a method of punishing Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha without prosecuting him, which would amount to arbitrary detention. Israel’s use of administrative detention itself may amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, given the detainee’s inability to know why they are being detained or when they will be released." 

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