Friday, October 26, 2012

Israel: End Arbitrary Restrictions on Rights Group Officials Researcher Detained, Chairman Banned From Traveling

Researcher Detained, Chairman Banned From Traveling

Human Rights Watch
"(Jerusalem) – Israeli authorities should stop harassing members of a Palestinian prisoners’ rights group. Israeli authorities should immediately lift a travel ban on the group’s chairman and release a recently arrested researcher, or present evidence justifying the measures against them.

In August and September 2012, Israeli authorities issued orders prohibiting Abdullatif Ghaith, chairman of the board of the group, Addameer, from traveling abroad as well as from East Jerusalem, where he lives, to the rest of the West Bank, where the organization’s offices are located. On October 15, Israeli forces raided the West Bank home of Ayman Nasser, a researcher for the group, arrested him and questioned him about radio interviews he gave about prisoners and his membership in a youth organization. At military court hearings on October 18 and 24, military judges extended his detention on the basis of evidence he was not allowed to see. The Israeli military has not charged either man with wrongdoing or allowed them to see any evidence against them.

“It’s deeply ironic that Israel is arbitrarily detaining a researcher who has documented arbitrary detention, and violating the rights of the head of a human rights group,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Israel should provide valid justifications for its measures against Nasser and Ghaith or drop those measures immediately.”

Ghaith, 71, co-founded Addameer and served on its board for 20 years, the group said in a statement. On August 3, Ghaith responded to a summons to appear at the “Moskobiyya” detention facility in Jerusalem. Israeli security officials there handed him an order signed by the Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, prohibiting his travel abroad for six months because he was an unspecified “state security” threat......"

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