Director of Finance & Administration at Union of Agricultural Work Committees
Date of Arrest:
92 months of detention without charge or trial
Name: Abdul Razeq Yasin Hasan Farraj
Date of Birth: 17 January 1963
Date of arrest: 25 February 2014
Prison: Isolation in Ramleh Prison
Residence: Ramallah, refugee from Lid
Marital Status: Married with two children
Occupation: Director of Finance & Administration at Union of Agricultural Work Committees
Education: BA in Economics from Birzeit University and a Diploma in Nonprofit Organization Management
Hunger Strike: On hunger strike since 30 April 2014
Abdul Razeq Farraj has been arrested by the Israeli Occupying Forces six times since 1985 and issued administrative detention orders in five of his six arrests.
First detention: 1985 – 1991 (charged, 6 years)
Second detention: 30 May 1994 - 1 February 1996 (Administrative detention, 20 months)
Third detention: 9 April 2002 – 28 July 2006 (Administrative detention, 52 months)
Fourth detention: 12 January 2009 – 9 October 2009 (Administrative detention, 9 months)
Fifth detention: 27 November 2011 – 20 July 2012 (Administrative detention, 8 months)
Sixth detention: 25 February 2014 – current (Administrative detention, 3 months)
Farraj has spent over seven years of his life in administrative detention, without charge or trial and over thirteen years in total in Israeli occupation’s prisons.
Farraj first appeared before Ofer Military Court on 3 March 2014 for a hearing to confirm his administrative detention order that was issued by the Israeli intelligence upon his arrest on 25 February 2014. In the hearing, the military prosecution accused Farraj of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an organization deemed illegal by Israeli Military Order 101, one of 1,600 Israeli military orders that control and govern the West Bank.
The military prosecution continued to accuse him of “guiding and directing” members of the organization since his last release, and therefore re-issued his administrative detention to prevent his political activity. The prosecution did not specify the type of activities Farraj is accused of, nor what type of “guidance” he is providing to the alleged PFLP members. The military prosecution answered all clarifying questions by the defense team by stating: “All of the details are included in the secret file.”
On 4 March 2014, military court judge Ron Delomi confirmed Farraj’s administrative detention order, claiming that “the materials included in the [secret] file are true and are enough to hold Farraj in administrative detention…Farraj is a senior member in the PFLP and his connections and impact on society indicate that he is dangerous.”
The military judge also stated in his decision that he considered the possibility of issuing charges, but the secret information and conditions did not allow it, so instead he issued a 6-month administrative detention order set to expire on 24 August 2014.
For 20 years the military prosecution has failed to charge Farraj; instead holding him for over 7 and a half years under administrative detention without charge or trial.
Farraj’s case also demonstrates that the military judicial system is based on decisions by the Israeli intelligence. The intelligence provided the information contained in the secret file, which was accepted without reservation by the Israeli military judge. The judge did not clarify how the information was obtained, nor did he validate it, creating a possibility that the information in the file is fabricated. Furthermore, the judge did not state the basis of his decision. This is a clear violation of Article 78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prescribes that administrative detention can only be used in situations that are deemed absolutely necessary for the security of citizens, and practiced based on the regulation of the Conventions.
On the 30 April 2014, Farraj joined the currently ongoing mass hunger strike launched by the administrative detainees to protest the policy of arbitrary arrest and detention without charge or trial, which is a clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Immediately after announcing his strike, Farraj was transferred to solitary confinement in Ayalon Prison in a cell unfit to hold a human being. For the first 14 days of the strike, he was not provided with any salt and denied family visits as part of the punitive measures against him. Farraj’s lawyer has only gained access to him once since the beginning of his hunger strike.
These punitive measures are part of an Israeli Prison Service (IPS) policy to isolate the hunger strikers from one another and the outside world. By isolating hunger strikers the IPS hopes to disrupt lines of communication between the hunger strikers and ultimately break the strike. The IPS also wants to isolate the hunger strikers from their communities and the world, to prevent them from gaining strength from solidarity campaigns launched by Palestinians and activists that support them in their battle against administrative detention.
Farraj is the Director of the Finance & Administration at Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), a non-governmental human rights organization based in the occupied West Bank. For 28 years, UAWC has worked to support, strengthen and empower Palestinian farmers and their rights. The continued arbitrary detention of Farraj hinders his work as a human rights defender and obstructs UAWC’s work in strengthening civil society.
Farraj and his wife Lamis have two sons, Basil (23) and Wadi’ (21), both of whom are attending university. Farraj was detained months before his eldest son’s graduation from Earlham University on 10 May 2014 and was on hunger strike for 11 days on the day of Basil’s graduation. Wadi’ is in his fourth yearat Birzeit University and is studying engineering. Farraj is also the main provider for his family, consequently denying them their main source of income. The Farraj family lives in Jalazon Refugee Camp on the outskirts of Ramallah.
Since Farraj’s arrest, the family has denied visits for “security reasons” as claimed by the IOF. His mother, who is 75 years old, has also been denied visitation rights, as the IPS has claimed that she and her son are not blood relatives. According to IPS regulations, only first-degree family members are allowed visitation rights, dependent on their ability to obtain permits both to enter Israel (where the majority of the prisons are located illegally) and the prison itself.
Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold detainees indefinitely on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. In the occupied Palestinian West Bank, the Israeli army is authorized to issue administrative detention orders against Palestinian civilians on the basis of Military Order 1651. This order empowers military commanders to detain an individual for up to six month renewable periods if they have “reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention.” On or just before the expiry date, the detention order is frequently renewed. This process can be continued indefinitely.
For more information about administrative detention and Addameer’s Campaign to Stop Administrative Detention see: http://stopadcampaign.com
Read Addameer’s summary on administrative detention:
Here is how you can help Abdul Razeq Farraj:
*Write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand that Abdul Razeq Farraj be released immediately and his administrative detention order not be renewed.
- Brigadier General Danny Efroni
Military Judge Advocate General
6 David Elazar Street
Harkiya, Tel Aviv
Fax: +972 3 608 0366; +972 3 569 4526
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
- Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon
OC Central Command Nehemia Base, Central Command
Neveh Yaacov, Jerusalam
Fax: +972 2 530 5741
- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak
Ministry of Defense
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 3 691 6940 / 696 2757
- Col. Eli Bar On
Legal Advisor of Judea and Samaria PO Box 5
Beth El 90631
Fax: +972 2 9977326
*Write to your own elected representatives urging them to pressure Israel to release Abdul Razeq Farraj and to put an end to such an unjust, arbitrary and cruel system of incarceration without trial.