addameer is one of the essential organizations in palestine fighting for the rights of palestinian political prisoners. one of their many and tireless campaigns is for the rights of those palestinian political prisoners who are in what the zionist entity calls “administrative detention.” here is a summary from addameer’s website on just what that entails:
The tyrannical nature of administrative detention and its complete violation of human rights are based on confidential materials kept from the detainee and the lawyer. The confidential materials determine the period of detention and its extension thereafter. The administrative detainee is allowed an appeal before a court martial but the confidentiality of the materials on which the detention is based makes the trial nominal or false. Experience has shown that the real decision-maker in the appeal is the intelligence services.
The possibility of becoming an administrative detainee is an ever-present threat in the daily life of all Palestinians and severely impacts the lives of Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Similar to previous years, whenever the conflict enters a new stage, the Israeli authorities use administrative detention to arrest a large number of Palestinians. The use of administrative detention was reduced significantly prior to the current Intifada, but was dramatically increased shortly afterwards. Until September 2000, the number of administrative detainees was 4. By the end of 2000, this number became 17. Towards the end of 2001, there were 45 administrative detainees, and by the end of 2004 there were over 850.
Administrative detention orders have been issued based on British Mandate Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945. In 1970, Israeli occupying powers issued Military Order (MO) 378, authorizing the military commander of the region to issue administrative detention orders. Additionally, in 1988, as an amendment to MO 378, MO 1229 was issued in the West Bank and MO 941 for the Gaza Strip (military orders are issued separately for the West Bank and Gaza Strip) to apply the policy of administrative detention. These orders authorized the issuing of administrative detention orders without designating a maximum period of time for the detention. The first paragraph of MO 1229 states that
“If a Military Commander deems the detention of a person necessary for security reasons he may do so for a period not in excess of 6 months, after which he has the right to extend the detention period for a further six months according to the original order. The detention order can be passed without the presence of the detainee…”
The authority of the military commander was not only limited to this. Authorization was also given to the military commander through military orders to hold an administrative detainee for an unlimited period of time if the commander has reason to believe, based on reports submitted by the General Security Services, that the release of the administrative detainee poses a danger to the security of the state. As such, the military commander may extend the period of administrative detention indefinitely.
According to Addameer’s experience with administrative detention, detainees have been held under administrative detention orders from periods ranging from 6 months to 6 years. The issuing of administrative detention orders appears to be directly linked to the political situation, with its use increasing when there is an increase in protest against occupation in the Palestinian territories that were occupied by Israel in 1967. Administrative detention is used as a form of punishment and a political act representing the policy of the Israeli government, conducted without sufficient legal monitoring and in contravention of international and human rights law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention.
In June 1999, modifications were made to the orders governing administrative detention in MO 1466 – Temporary Orders, Modification 13. This order states that a detainee must be brought before a military judge within 10 days of his arrest. These new procedures began to apply on 6 July 1999, also authorizing the military judge to approve, cancel or decrease the time of the administrative detention order.
In practice, the Israeli General Security Services (GSS) often take the law into their own hands, and the military judges ruling on administrative detention orders are used to offer a semblance of legal legitimacy to the policy and actions of the GSS. The military judicial system, as such, is not independent, and is affected by security policies and interference by the GSS in its rulings under the justification that it is in the greater interest of the security of Israel. Administrative detention is practiced widely by Israel, despite the fact that the method in which it is used is in contravention of international law.
Administrative detainees are held in Ketziot, Ofer, Beituniya and Kfar Yuna Military Prison camps. Although the situation of Palestinian administrative detainees has improved slightly in Ofer and Ketziot, the overall situation is still grave because of the fact that detainees are held in tents and subject to extreme weather conditions without appropriate protection.
In 2003, the Israeli authorities released 159 administrative detainees. However, the detainees were slated for release within a few days of their actual release, and the majority had already served out their sentences with 1 day to 1 month remaining.
At the end of 2003, 21 administrative detainees were deported to the Gaza Strip, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The deportations were called ‘assigned residence’ and were implemented through Israeli military regulations.
to help explain this system of administrative detention addammer created a two-part video that features interviews with a number of men and women who have endured this fascist system of injustice at the hands of the zionist entity:
there is a new case of administrative detention with a petition to sign on the sumoud website for
Note: Learn about other Palestinian Political Prisoners held in administrative detention at
You can also find information about both Siham and Majeda at Addameer.org
Majeda Fidda is an elected member of Nablus municipality Council. She was arrested from the family home in Nablus. A few minutes passed midnight on 6 August 2008 Israeli soldiers stormed her house and proceeded to a search. Five months later, on 31 December 2008 she was acquitted of all charges and subsequently placed under administrative detention. Her order is expected to end on 30 June 2009. Please write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand that Ms Majeda Fidda be released immediately and that her administrative detention not be renewed. more on Mejeda below
Siham Al Heh is a social worker from Sourif in Hebron. Siham was arrested from her family home at 1:30 am on 26 March 2009. A few days following her arrest, Siham was informed that she would be detained for a 3 month period in administrative detention, without charge or trial. Her potential – but by no means certain – release is now expected on 25 June 2009. Please write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand that Siham Al-Heh be released immediately and that her administrative detention not be renewed. More on Siham below.
Majeda Akram Nimer Fidda
Date of Birth: August 1960
Place of Residence: Nablus
Elected Member of Nablus municipality Council, M.Sc
Date of arrest: 6 August 2008
Place of detention: Hasharon prison
Postal address: Hasharon prison, Ben Yehuda, P.O. Box 7
40 330 Israel
Number of order renewals:one, 31 March 2009
Expected end of administrative detention order: 30 June 2009
Majeda Fidda was arrested from the family home in Nablus. A few minutes passed midnight on 6 August 2008 Israeli soldiers stormed her house and proceeded to a search. During the arrest, they confiscated Ms. Fidda’s personal laptop computer. Subsequently, she was taken to Huwwara provisional detention centre located in the outskirts of Nablus, after which she was transferred to Sheve Shamron settlement in Jenin area. Then, once again that same night, she was transferred back to Huwwara provisional detention centre where she was interrogated for a two hour period.
During the second transfer, she was left to wait for long hours, on the street, under the surveillance of a female soldier. After the questioning, she was finally transferred to Hasharon prison. A list of charges was issued against her. The charges included membership in Change and Reform to which she indeed belonged when she run for municipal elections in 2005. However, the Israeli authorities declared Change and Reform bloc an “illegal party” only in 2007, almost two years after municipal elections – and one year after parliamentary elections – took place. In addition, Israel did not oppose the participation of the Change and Reform Party giving the impression that it did not consider the list an “unauthorized association” both membership and activity in which constitute a criminal offense under military regulations.
The legal procedures lasted for 5 months, until 31 December 2008 when she was acquitted of all charges. Instead of releasing Ms. Fidda however, the Israeli authorities decided to keep her imprisoned, without trial or charges, in administrative detention. Thus, an administrative detention order was issued against her for a 6 month period starting from 6 January 2009 until 5 July 2009. However, on 12 January 2009 in the judicial review the judge refused to confirm the order and instead referred her for further interrogation until 3 February 2009. The prosecution appealed against the judge’s decision and consequently, the date of the appeal was set for 1 February 2009. The appeal judge then transferred
Ms. Fidda’s file to the Judge of First Instance who reduced the order until 12 February 2009. The prosecution and defense both appealed against the decision. However, the appeal hearing accepted the arguments of the prosecution and the order was subsequently extended until 31 March 2009, so that an interrogation could be conducted. On that day, instead of being released, Majeda’s administrative detention order was confirmed for a further 6 months, until 30 September 2009. During the judicial review on 5 April 2009, the judge reduced the order to 3 months, now setting Ms. Fidda’s possible – but by no means certain – release on 30 June 2009. The prosecution appealed his decision demanding further extension, whereas the defense appealed the renewal of the administrative detention order. On 26 April, the appeal hearing however, confirmed the 3 month detention period and rejected both the prosecution’s and the defense’s pleas.
The Israeli Occupying Forces stormed Ms. Fidda’s home once before her arrest, on the night of 22 July 2008, when they unlawfully searched her house under her absence from home. Despite that, the soldiers confiscated 2 desktop computers and files related to her work at the municipality of Nablus. Majeda was arrested once before and placed under administrative detention for a six month period from 3 March 2005 until 2 September 2005. She was held in Hasharon prison.
A few months after her first release, on 15 December 2005, Majeda was elected to the Council of Nablus municipality. During her term as councilor, she created a new department at the municipality dealing specifically with environmental issues. She initiated an ambitious project called “Green Nablus” – a tree and flower planting campaign. As a result, many parks and green spaces in Nablus and surrounding villages were created. Majeda also took part in a municipal recycling course organized in Brussels in cooperation with various Belgian municipalities.
Majeda holds an MSc degree in Pharmacology from Moscow University in Russia. Prior to her work in the municipality, she worked as a pharmacist for several years. In 2004, she launched a media and documentation project aiming at informing press agencies of local events in Nablus. However, her 2005 a rrest was a major setback to the project effectively leading to its end.
Majeda is interested in arts and enjoys embroidering, drawing, painting on glass and knitting. She has also attempted to apply her artistic skills to interior design decorating friends’ houses in Ramallah and Nablus. In fact, prior to her arrest, she intended to pursue a degree in Interior Design.
With the exception of her sister Arwa who holds a Jerusalem identity card, Majeda’s whole family – her four other sisters and both parents– are denied permits to visit her in prison under the premise that there are no familial ties between them. They have been prevented from visiting her since the moment of her arrest on 6 August 2008. Since her imprisonment, her father suffers from depression and does not eat sufficiently. Her father, aged 74 saw her once in court before her case was referred to administrative detention. Indeed, judicial reviews of administrative detention orders are not open to the public as they are secret sessions; therefore the detainee can only be accompanied by his or her lawyer.
Majeda is detained in section 12 of Hasharon prison, one of Israel’s largest facilities, together with approximately 32 other Palestinian female prisoners. The building which now constitutes the prison complex served as the headquarters of the British Mounted Police during the British Mandate in Palestine and as such was never designed for the incarceration of women. As a result, Majeda suffers from harsh detention conditions. She complains from overcrowding, humidity, lack of natural sunlight and adequate ventilation, as well as poor hygiene standards.
Prisoners are allowed to three hours of daily recreation time only1. She currently shares a room in section 12 with one other prisoner. The room is reportedly very small, only 2 meters long and 2.5 meters large. It includes a small bathroom, two bunk beds and three small closets. The lighting is very weak forcing her to buy a lamp in the prison canteen at her own expense. Due to overall poor detention conditions, her health has recently drastically deteriorated. Majeda suffers from constant back pain and high blood pressure.
However, as a pharmacologist, she says that medical treatment is inadequate and does not include real follow-up nor specialized gender sensitive care. As a result, she neither trusts the doctor’s recommendations nor the medication she is prescribed. Majeda also complains from solitude in prison, given that she does not receive regular family visits. Interests: Glass painting, reading.
Here is how you can help Ms. Majeda Fidda:
• Send Majeda letters of support to her postal address in prison
• Write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand that Ms Majeda Fidda be released immediately and that her administrative detention not be renewed.
• Write to your own elected representatives urging them to pressure Israel to release Ms. Majeda Fidda and to put an end to such an unjust, arbitrary and cruel system of incarceration without trial.
“It’s really hard to be detained without knowing why”
Date of birth: 14 October 1978
Place of Residence: Sourif village, Hebron
Occupation: Social worker
Date of arrest: 26 March 2009
Place of detention: Hasharon prison
Postal address: Hasharon prison, Ben Yehuda
P.O. Box 7, 40 330 Israel
Expected end of administrative detention order: 25 June 2009
Arrest and interrogation
Siham was arrested from her family home at 1:30 am on 26 March 2009. The Israeli soldiers burst into the house and started destroying her property. They broke windows and picture frames and searched the entire house. Later, they proceeded to a search of her brother’s house located merely 100 meters from Siham’s family home. Only after a few minutes of firm insistence was she allowed changing her clothes – the soldiers were ready to arrest her in her pajamas. The soldiers then confiscated a few books, her personal computer and identity documents of the family. Upon arresting Siham, they also left a request for her four brothers and her father, aged 70 to present themselves for an interrogation with the Israeli Security Agency. That same night, the Israeli soldiers also intended to arrest Siham’s brother Ibrahim, aged 37; however he was working a night shift at the Hebron hospital where he is a nurse.
Upon arrest, Siham was taken to Etzyon detention centre, but was left alone, in the military jeep for an hour before a doctor came to carry out a medical examination. After a few questions, she was asked to sign a form stating that she was in good health, which she did. Then, she was taken to Etzyon detention centre for questioning during which the interrogator threatened her with administrative detention. After a few hours, she was transferred to Hasharon prison where she is currently detained. However, at first, she was placed in the section of Israeli female criminal offenders. Addameer’s lawyer immediately requested that she be transferred to section 12, where the rest of Palestinian political women prisoners are detained. That request was only fulfilled nearly a month after her arrest – on 23 April 2009.
You can also find information about both Siham and Majeda at http://addameer.info/?cat=21
Administrative detention is a procedure under which detainees are held without charge or trial. In the occupied Palestinian West Bank, the Israeli army carries out administrative detention on the basis of Military Order 1226. This order empowers military commanders to detain an individual for up to six months 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 on administrative detention and Addameer’s campaign please check our website: www.addameer.info or get in touch with us directly at: info[at]addameer.ps
there are a number of other fascist ways the zionist entity attacks palestinian rights, including house arrest as this sumoud call for action to support samieh jabbarin illustrates:
The solidarity struggle with Palestinian theatre-artist and activist Samieh Jabbarin, who is still under house-arrest in Um Al Fahm, has gained significant resonance in the past two weeks thanks to the publication of journalist Aviva Lori`s extensive coverage of the affair in `Haaretz` weekend supplement in Hebrew (22.5.09) and English (28.5.09).
Unfortunately, nothing has moved in court. On June 7th the court in Hadera is to review Samieh`s appeal for lifting the limiting conditions of his house-arrest – four (!) months of being denied his personal liberty after being arrested at a political demonstration. Due to the said limiting conditions, Samieh could not even attend the Tel Aviv University scholarship and award-granting ceremony of the Faculty of Fine Arts held a few days ago, where he was mentioned with outstanding honors by the dean and received a scholarship (see appendix).
– further damaging Samieh, the police – along with the State Attorney`s Office – has accused him of so-called violent action. It is no coincidence that these very days a steep exacerbation is anticipated for the future freedom of expression and political association in the State of Israel. Rapid legislation in the Knesset (parliament) of a whole battery of anti-democratic laws has been of major concern. Among others: a proposed law curbs `any aspiration to change the character of the State or to publish anything that might cause disrespect of the regime` (!);
– the `Nakba law` prohibits the commemoration of Palestinian suffering caused by the foundation of the State of Israel; the `loyalty law` will require every Israeli citizen – Arabs included – to sign a declaration of loyalty to the state as a `Jewish and Zionist state`;
– a law to create a fingerprint database of all Israeli citizens;
– a law forbidding demonstrations in front of residences of public officials, etc.
These are laws that, once legislated, will enable the state to act harshly against all of us in the future, Arabs and Jews alike. No more figments of imagination will be needed about `violent action` in order to arrest, prosecute and punish innocent citizens.
We thank you for your support of Samieh Jabbarin, for joining the struggle against political detention in Israel, and for sharing the struggle against the new evil winds now blowing in this country.
Our online petition is ongoing. We would appreciate your signatures if you have not yet signed it, and thank you for distributing it among your friends, for this is our most efficient way to keep you in the picture and update you about further actions for Samieh in the near future.
Thanking you in advance,
The Committee for Solidarity with Samieh Jabbarin
finally, another important item on sumoud’s website this week is on a a call for the closure of the zionist entity’s secret prison:
Today, May 25th, 2009, HaMoked submitted to the High Court of Justice (HCJ) the concluding observations of the UN Committee against Torture regarding the secret prison known as “Facility 1391”. HaMoked uncovered the existence of the prison, and its petition regarding the legality of the facility has been pending before the Court since 2003.
The Committee’s Concluding Observations, published on May 14th, support HaMoked’s argument that the very existence of a secret facility for detention and interrogation without oversight or monitoring, into which people disappear, is unlawful and has no place in a democratic state. The existence of such a facility is a violation of the International Convention Against Torture.
Furthermore, despite Israel’s assertion that no prisoners have been held at the facility since 2006, the Committee demands that Israel ensure that no one is held in Facility 1391 or any other secret facility in the future.
The Committee also demands that Israel investigate allegations of torture in Facility 1391 and hold those responsible accountable, and expresses concern about the HCJ’s backing for the policy of non-investigation of the secret prison.
HaMoked uncovered the existence of the facility in 2002, following petitions it submitted to the HCJ regarding three Palestinians who had been arrested and held in an unknown location. In its responses to the Court, the State was compelled to acknowledge the existence of a secret prison.
Attorneys on behalf of HaMoked took affidavits from prisoners who had been held at the facility, which revealed a grim picture of inhuman conditions of incarceration, humiliation and brutal interrogation techniques that were tantamount to torture. Prisoners were held in total isolation in darkened, foul-smelling cells, lacking basic sanitary conditions. They were stripped and beaten during their interrogation, and denied visits by attorneys and ICRC personnel. When prisoners asked where they were held, they were told, “On the moon.”
HaMoked urges the HCJ to adopt the conclusions of the UN Committee Against Torture and rule that the very existence of Facility 1391 or any other secret facility for detention or interrogation is unlawful.