Date of Arrest:
Negev Desert (Ketziot) Prison
Name: Ahmad Ishraq Irhemi Rimawi
Date of Arrest: 17 November 2012
Date of Birth: 12 November 1994
Residence: Abwein, Ramallah
Prison: Negev “Naqab” prison
Legal Status: Administrative Detainee
Number of AD Orders: 3
Days after his 18th birthday, Ahmad and two friends were travelling through 'Atara checkpoint on the night of 17 November 2012 when they were stopped by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) and their taxi searched. Ahmad was arrested, transferred to Ofer Prison and had an administrative detention order issued against him on 20 November, which has subsequently been renewed multiple times.
Both of his friends were also arrested at the checkpoint on 17 November 2012. One of them, a US citizen of Palestinian descent, was deported to the United States. The other, a US citizen and West Bank resident, was released on bail after a few days in detention.
Prison Reunites Ahmad and his Father
Ahmad Rimawi’s family has been plagued by the Occupation’s detention policies since 2001, when Ishraq, his father, was arrested on 15 June 2001 and sentenced to nineteen years. Shortly after the arrest, the family home in Beit Reema was demolished, and the entire extended family of twenty was forced to live in a tent for one month before moving into a relative’s home in the nearby village of Abwein. Ahmad’s mother is the only provider for the family, causing extreme hardship. Ahmad also has two younger sisters.
Since the age of seven, Ahmad only knows his father behind the glass divider that stands between them during the bi-monthly family visits. Families suffer greatly from their treatment for family visits, many of them are denied permits for “security reasons,” keeping them estranged from their loved ones for years at a time. For Ahmad, it wasn’t until his arrest that he was reunited with his father in Ofer prison.
However, Ahmad was transferred to the Negev prison in an attempt to keep the father and son separated. Ishraq submitted several requests to be transferred to the Negev prison with his son which were routinely denied until early 2014. Now, after thirteen years of separation, Ahmad and his father are detained in the same prison cell. Um Ahmad has lamented about the bittersweet nature of her husband and sons detentions saying “Despite the cruelty of prison and detention, I am somewhat reassured that my son is with his father; being together might actually make the cruel conditions of detention a little easier on them.”
The conditions in the Negev prison are harsh on both the prisoners and their families. Prisoners complain of the stifling heat, insects and poor living conditions. Family visits are only allowed once a month; while in other prisons visitation rights are twice a month.
Upon Ahmad’s arrest, he was interrogated for two days and accused of participating in “military activities,” all accusations that he denied. His first administrative detention order was issued on 20 November 2012 for six-months. His order has been renewed three consecutive times, with the most recent order expiring on 15 May 2014.
All appeals submitted to the Military Court have been rejected thus far. Addameer lawyer Aouda Zbeidat has also filed a petition to the Supreme Court, which has also been rejected. The consistent rejections of the appeals suggest that Ahmad might have his administrative detention renewed again.
The Courts have refused to take into account Ahmad’s age, or the fact that his administrative detention is preventing him from continuing his education. In the judicial review hearing of the first administrative detention order the military court judge stated“The fact that the detainee is a minor does not make him immune to detention.”
No Charges, No Evidence
Ahmad’s case gives a clear example of how administrative detention orders are renewed solely based on decisions by the Israeli intelligence, not the Military Court. According to Israeli Military Orders, the General Security Services (Shabak) issue the administrative detention orders, which the military commander of the region signs. The order is then presented to a Military Judge for a final review, accompanied with a “secret” file that includes the recommendations from the intelligence. This secret file cannot be viewed by the detainee or his lawyer. In most cases, the administrative detention order is approved by the judge after a session in the absence of the detainee or his lawyer, making it virtually impossible for an intervention on behalf of the detainee.
These practices confirm the impunity by which the Israeli intelligence functions and more so the complicity and collaboration between the Israeli military court judge, prosecution and intelligence. These practices bring into question the validity of the military courts due to their lack of accountability or fair trials.
Ahmad’s case file includes only a speculation of his alleged “offenses,” without providing any evidence against him. The intelligence has not provided any new information, evidence or materials for the renewal of his administrative detention orders. Given that Ahmad was arrested days after his 18th birthday any evidence against him would have been collected when he was still a minor.
In the renewal hearings, the military judge did not request documentation to support the military prosecutions recommendations to renew his administrative detention. The judge also did not request a list of charges or accusations to allow Ahmad’s lawyer to prepare an appropriate defense or appeal. Ahmad’s case is not unique in that virtually all administrative detention orders are renewed without further investigation into the case, or based on old information.
Article (9) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that: “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention.” While Article (78) of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that administrative detention shall be practiced only for imperative reasons of security.
As such Israel’s use of administrative detention clearly violates the Fourth Geneva Convention. It also constitutes a form of torture which is also a violation of the Forth Geneva Convention and is considered a war crime and a crime against humanity.
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 Ahmad Rimawi:
*Write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand that Ahmad Rimawi be released immediately and his administrative detention order not be renewed.
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 Ahmad Rimawi and to put an end to such an unjust, arbitrary and cruel system of incarceration without trial.