Following Visit to Palestine, European Parliamentarians Call for the Release of Bilal Kayed and End to Administrative Detention
Responding to an urgent request by Human Rights’ Organizations, we, Parliamentarians and Politicians from 3 different European Countries, agreed to participate in an Ad Hoc International Delegation to Palestine in support of the demand for the immediate release of Bilal Kayed. Bilal Kayed, 35, has fully served a 14,5-year imprisonment sentence and was due to be released on June 13,2016. However, instead of being released, he was subjected to the arbitrary regime of administrative detention, which equals an executive prolongation of his incarceration, without charge and without trial. Bilal Kayed started a hunger strike to demand his freedom and is now entering the 64th day thereof, hospitalized and shackled hand and foot to the hospital bed, his life being seriously threatened at this point.
As people who have served the respect and protection of human rights in our countries and internationally, we considered it our duty not only to speak for Bilal Kayed’s demand, but also to speak against the regime of administrative detention, which constitutes a violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms as recognized in all international human rights law and humanitarian law instruments. We further consider it our obligation to speak against the conditions of prolongation of Bilal Kayed’s incarceration, which constitute direct and autonomous violations of human rights.
We requested to visit Bilal Kayed at the hospital, filing an official request in our capacity. We deplore the fact that our request has not even been answered, a fact which, in itself, multiplies the concerns for the protection of his life.
We hereby reiterate our call for the immediate release of Bilal Kayed and for the abolition of the odious practice of administrative detention.
Ognumur Jonasson, Member of Parliament, Iceland, Former Minister, Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Fra McCann, Member of the Legislative Assembly in the North of Ireland
Paul Gavan, Member of the Irish Senate
Zoe Konstantopoulou, Head of “Course to Freedom”, Former President of the Hellenic Parliament, Human Rights Lawyer