Administrative Detention of Palestinian Circus Trainer and Performer Mohammad Abu Sakha Renewed

The Administrative detention of Palestinian circus trainer and performer Mohammad Abu Sakha has been renewed for an additional 6 months, from 13 June 2016 to 12 December 2016. Administrative detention orders may be renewed indefinitely.

Mohammad Abu Sakha was arrested on 14/12/2015 at around 4:00 pm while he was crossing Zaatara military checkpoint near Nablus to go to his work in Birzeit village, near Ramallah. Abu Sakha has been with the Palestinian Circus School since 2007. He became a performer and a trainer in the circus in 2011. He has participated in various performances in Europe and the United States. He has also participated in numerous circus tours in Palestine. Abu Sakha was supposed to participate in international circus trainings in March and June 2016.

The initial six-month administrative detention order was issued against Abu Sakha starting from 25/12/2015 was set to end today (13/06/2016). However, it was further renewed an additional 6 months. Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold detainees indefinitely on secret evidence 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 requires the detention.” On or just before the expiry date, the detention order is frequently renewed. This process can be continued indefinitely.

A confirmation hearing for the current administrative detention order against Mohammad Abu Sakha is scheduled for 15 June 2016, during which a military judge may confirm, limit, or cancel the administrative detention order.