Later this week, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association sent a submission to Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese in response to her call for input for her upcoming thematic report to the Human Rights Council 52nd session on deprivation of liberty in the occupied Palestinian territory. Her report will look at the practices and effects of Israel’s systematic arrest and detention of Palestinians, including the charges and laws used to justify deprivation of liberty; the effect on detainees, their families, and their communities; the most targeted geographic areas and groups of people; and the structural use of inhumane detention conditions, torture, and ill-treatment, and denial of fair trial guarantees.
Addameer’s submission addresses these themes and questions by analyzing Israel’s use of arbitrary detention policies and practices to repress Palestinians' struggle for self-determination and liberty. The submission concludes that the increased systematic practice of arbitrary detention undertaken by the Israeli occupation forces is upheld by the Israeli settler-colonial and apartheid regime. Violence is imbued at each stage of arrest: upon arrest and transfer to detention centers and during detention and trial. These methods of deprivation of liberty are central to the practices of the Israeli occupation, yet they are differentially applied geographically across the occupied Palestinian territories in violation of international law.
The submission details the Israeli legal frameworks and military detention practices designed to arbitrarily deprive Palestinians of their right to liberty in violation of international law. The Israeli occupation authorities consistently utilize military orders to maintain control over and enact collective punishment on the Palestinian people under the guise of protecting “security.” In practice, this system criminalizes all aspects of Palestinian life by authorizing arbitrary arrests for Palestinian movements, group membership, gatherings, use of social media, and peaceful political activity. Once the occupation authorities arrest Palestinians for these kinds of acts, they continue to violate their international legal rights by denying them access to minimal fair trial guarantees and subjecting them to abhorrent detention conditions. This system of arbitrary arrest is further illustrated by the Israeli occupation’s use of administrative detention. Authorized by military order, Israeli forces consistently and systematically issue extrajudicial administrative detention orders to Palestinians, allowing them to detain and interrogate Palestinians indefinitely without charge or trial under the guise of “security” based on “secret evidence.”
The submission also examines Israel’s illegal and systematic practices of torture and ill-treatment, inhumane detention conditions, and illegal prison transfers. As documented by Addameer and other human rights organizations, the conditions Palestinians are consistently subjected to in Israeli military prisons are also in clear violation of international law. Further, by illegally transferring detainees across the Green Line, Israeli occupation forces make it nearly impossible for family members to visit their loved ones. They also systematically enforce other collective punishment measures such as demolishing the homes of prisoners, arresting family members, or even detaining family members as hostages. Similarly, the Israeli authorities’ arrest process unjustly targets Palestinians in certain geographic areas, such as East Jerusalem, as well as specific groups for raids and mass arrests, such as former detainees, students and teachers, politicians, journalists, human rights defenders, and even children.
These illegal arrest and detention practices clearly amount to widespread collective punishment. In fact, Israel relies on a two-tiered legal system that subjects Palestinian detainees to a vastly different legal system and treatment in detention than Israeli detainees. In conjunction with Israeli military arrest and detention practices, these strategies of systemic deprivation of liberty amount to collective punishment and clearly violate international laws and standards.
Full submission is attached above.