Thirteen Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members are currently imprisoned by Israel following the occupation's arrest of PLC member Mohammad Abu Teir on Friday, 4 August 2017. Abu Teir was last released from Israeli prisons on 30 May 2017, after he spent 17 months in prison.
Abu Teir was arrested from his home in Umm al-Sharayet in Ramallah, where he has lived after he was forcibly expelled from his home in Jerusalem and had his Jerusalem ID revoked. Abu Teir has spent a total of 34 years in Israeli prisons and has been repeatedly targeted by occupation forces since he was elected as a PLC members back in 2006.
Democratically elected Palestinian political leaders are routinely targeted and detained as part of ongoing Israeli efforts to suppress Palestinian political processes – and, as a necessary result, political sovereignty and self-determination. The Israeli policy of detaining members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) has adversely disrupted PLC normal functions.
International law affirms the right to political expression and participation. This is affirmed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that states are to ensure “to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966).