Release Date Set for Palestinian Legislative Council Member Khalida Jarrar
02 June 2016 – The release of Palestinian Legislative Council Member Khalida Jarrar has been scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, 3 June 2016. The Palestinian Legislative Council member has been detained since 2 April 2015 when Israeli occupation forces surrounded her house in Al-Ersal neighborhood in Ramallah. After destroying the main entrance, they raided Jarrar’s home, where she was residing with her husband. She was then arrested and taken into a military jeep.
Jarrar was initially taken to Beit El settlement, and was later transferred to a military camp near Jaba’ village in east Jerusalem. At 7:30 AM she was transferred to Ofer military camp near Ramallah, where the interrogation started. Jarrar remained silent and refused water and food. She was later shackled and transferred to HaSharon prison.
Khalida Jarrar, who has suffered from multiple ischemic infarctions, hypercholesterolemia, and deep vein thrombosis, was initially placed under administrative detention and received a 6-month administrative detention order on Sunday, 5 April 2015. Arguably following international outcry and public pressure, her administrative detention order was subsequently limited to end on 04 May 2015. A list of charges was issued against her on 15 April 2015. The twelve charges against her revolved around her role as a Palestinian Legislative Council member and political leader and for her campaigning for prisoners.
International organizations condemned the continued detention of Mrs. Jarrar. Concern was been expressed by the Inter-Parliamentary Union “about Ms. Jarrar’s conviction in light of the multiple irregularities surrounding her arrest, detention and prosecution” in its decision adopted by the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians at its 149th session (Geneva, 15-25 January 2016). On 13 April 2015, 58 Ministers in the European Parliament sent a letter to High Representative Federica Mogherini calling for the release of Mrs. Jarrar, and expressing their “strongest condemnation of the latest Israeli escalation against Palestinian legislators and the suppression of the Palestinian political leadership.”
The practice of holding Palestinians in administrative detention in the absence of adequate evidence for charges continues. On 14 April 2016, Palestinian professor and astrophysicist was arrested at an Israeli checkpoint Nabi Saleh, after which he was placed under administrative detention. Following an order for his release on 29 May 2016, he was charged with incitement.
Like the trials of many Palestinians in Israeli military court, which has cited a 99.74% conviction rate as its latest published figure, the trial of Mrs. Jarrar was marked by fair trial violations, including prolonging trial by failure to bring forth witnesses, prosecution’s seeking use of secret evidence, violations of the right to prompt notice of charges, and illegal transfer from the occupied territory. Following a lack of trust in justice of the military court system, Mrs. Jarrar plead guilty to two of the 12 counts, and she was sentenced to 15 months in prison.