MAHMOUD SHABANEH

Age:
44 years
Martial Status:
Married with three children
Profession:
Tradesman
Date of Arrest:
02.02.2014
Prison:
Ofer Detention Center, Prison, and Military Court (&& Beit El Settlement Compound)
District:
Hebron
Last Update:
23.07.2014
Date of Birth: 28 March 1973
Residence: Hebron
Current place of detention: Ofer Prison
Marital status: Married with three children
Occupation: Tradesman
Academic status: BA in Hebrew form The Hebrew University while he was in prison. He is currently a third year student at Al-Quds Open University, specializing in Islamic Education. He has been a student since 2005 and hasn’t been able to finish his degree because of the continuous arrests.
Date of arrest: 2 February 2014
Legal Status: Administrative detainee
 
Latest arrest
The IOF raided Shabaneh’s house at 1:00 am on 2 February 2014. They searched the house ransacking and destroying the families possessions. Shabaneh was arrested and immediately taken to Asqalan interrogation center. During this time he was subjected to harsh interrogation sessions that lasted for 40 continuous days. When the prosecution failed to form a list of charges against him at the end of his interrogation, the military judge issued a 6-month administrative detention order against Shabaneh (the order ends on 1 August 2014).
 
Previous arrests
This is Shabaneh’s tenth arrest. He has spent a total of 16 years in detention, some of his previous arrests were under administrative detention and others were under sentences issued by military courts. On his fourth arrest, he was sentenced to five years. On the final day of this sentence when Shabaneh thought he was going home to his family, he received an administrative detention order.
 
Details about his previous arrests:
First arrest: 8 August 1989 – sentenced to 4 and half months.
Second arrest: 15 December 1990 to 19 March 1991 (sentenced to 3 and half months)
Third arrest: 9 January 1993 to 23 November 1993 (sentenced to 3 and a half months)
Fourth arrest: 12 June 1994 and received a 5 and a half year sentence. On the day of his release (12 March 2001) he received an administrative detention order.
Fifth arrest: 12 March 2001 This was Shabaneh’s first administrative detention order. He received the order  after spending 5 and a half years in prison that ended on 12 March 2001 (the same day as his administrative detention order). The administrative detention order ended in September 2001.
Sixth arrest: 14 December 2001 to 25 July 2005. Three and a half years in administrative detention.
Seventh arrest: 17 October 2006 to 11 June 2009. Three years in administrative detention.
Eighth arrest: 2 July 2010 to 23 January 2013. Three years in administrative detention.
Ninth arrest: Shabaneh was arrested two months after being released. He was arrested on 13 March 2013 after the IOF raided his house at dawn destroying all of the family’s belongings and breaking the furniture. They took Shabaneh to Jalameh interrogation center. He was released on 4 April 2013.
Tenth arrest: This is Shabaneh’s current detention. He was arrested on 2 February 2014 and received a 6-month administrative detention order that should end on 1 August 2014.
 
Shabaneh received an administrative detention order based on a secret file that was produced (but not allowed to be seen by Shabaneh or his lawyer) after the prosecution failed to create a list of charges against him.
Ofer military court held a session on 12 March 2014 to discuss Shabaneh’s administrative detention order. The military prosecution claimed that Shabaneh is an active member of Hamas and is in contact with a number of activists within Hamas. They also claimed that he is suspected to be involved in military operations and poses a threat to the security of the region. The prosecution requested the confirmation of the administrative detention order for six months based on a secret file that was presented to the military judge exclusively without allowing the detainee or his lawyer to view it.
 
The judged delayed the session for 72 hours giving the military commander and the military prosecution time to review their decision and to find an alternative to the administrative detention order (i.e. form a list of charges against Shabaneh).
 
In a session that was held on 18 March 2014 the prosecution re-requested the confirmation of the administrative detention order against Shabaneh. It should be mentioned that Shabaneh was subjected to interrogation in Petah Tikva interrogation center for 13 days. During interrogation, Shabaneh was subjected to many types of physical and psychological torture. When the interrogation team failed to prove any of the allegations to form a list of charges, the military commander issued an administrative detention order against Shabaneh.
 
During the judicial review session, the military prosecution did not present any details about the interrogation that Shabaneh had been subjected to claiming that the details could not be revealed. The judge relied on the secret file produced by the prosecution (but not shown to Shanabeh or his lawyer) claiming that Shabaneh’s history and previous arrest are enough to confirm that he poses a threat and should be held under administrative detention.
 
Shabaneh’s case is a clear example of the arbitrary policy of administrative detention practiced by the occupation authorities. Shabaneh’s case is one of the many cases where the occupation intelligence uses administrative detention without having any evidence or data to convict the detainee. The intelligence know that the military judges are merely tools put in place to validate the administrative detention orders and have no actual role in the judicial formalities and measures regarding administrative detention, which they claim to do.
 
The military judge stated: “Shabaneh’s current administrative detention order cannot be renewed if the prosecution don’t present new secret information.” This proves that the current information they have is weak, especially considering the fact that in the first hearing the judge requested the prosecution to examine the possibility of forming a list of charges against Shabaneh.
 
This doesn’t mean that Shabaneh will be released after finishing the current AD period because there is a possibility that his order will be renewed despite the judge’s decision. Shabaneh and his family don’t know if he’s going to be released on 1 August 2014 or not which is the psychological torture that he and his family have been suffering from since 2001.
 
Hunger strike
Shabaneh started an open hunger strike on 24 April 2014 and was transferred to Tel Hashomer hospital as a result. He was visited by lawyer Mahmoud Jabareen and according to the lawyer he had lost 20 kilograms.
 
It should be mentioned that Shabaneh played a significant role in leading the hunger strike that lasted 63 days through his position in the strike committee. Throughout the 63 days of hunger strike, Shabaneh was subjected to a number of punitive measures that were imposed by the IPS against Palestinian detainees who were practicing their right to go on hunger strike as a last resort to improve the conditions they’re held in and guarantee their fundamental rights. The punitive measures include solitary confinement, denial of family visits, denial of lawyer visits, as well as exorbitant fines.
The IPS denied the hunger strikers access to salt during the first 14 days of the hunger strike which lead to severe deterioration in their health conditions. Shabaneh and the other hunger strikers were exposed to humiliating treatment by the special unit forces that guard the strikers in hospitals, including: eating in front of the hunger strikers in an attempt to make them break the hunger strike, shackling them to beds, depriving them from using the restroom when needed and only allowing them to use the bathroom at specific times and after many requests. In addition to this the hunger strikers also suffered from ill treatment by the doctors, where some of the doctors demanded the detainees to end their hunger strike and the doctors were required to speak in Hebrew while talking to the hunger strikers even if they only spoke Arabic.
 
Health condition
During his detention in 2010 Shabaneh had a surgery in Soroka medical center after losing the ability to speak for 3 months. He had the surgery after it was found that he suffers from vocal cord polyps. He has been in need of special medical care since the surgery and needs to be taking medicine, have a special diet and take herbal medicines on regular basis.
 
Family
Shabaneh’s wife, Amal, says: “We haven’t lived with my husband as a family like we should, the continuous arrests have always stood in the way of our family. My children did not live with their father and they don’t know him the way they should. My oldest son Hamdi (8 years old) lived with his father for a year and 10 months, my second child Husam Aldeen (4 years old) was only able to live with his father for 10 months, and my youngest Omar was born whilst his father was in prison, he is 4 months old now and hasn’t met his father yet. Administrative detention is an arbitrary detention that denies the detainee and his family their right to live together to support and take care of each other. I wish for the detainees to succeed and achieve their demands and to have my husband back with us soon.”