Israel's Policy of Administrative Detention

10-05-2012

Administrative detention is a pre-emptive measure that allows authorities to detain suspects before the trial. While the procedure can be applied to anyone and exists in many countries, the issue has become particularly pressing in Israel. Israeli authorities use administrative detention principally to constrain Palestinian political activism and apply the procedure for an unlimited period of time without pressing charges. As of April 2012, there were 309 administrative detainees in Israeli prisons, contributing to the total tally of 5 000 Palestinians in Israeli jails, including 27 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. A great many of these prisoners — some 2 000 — have been on a hunger strike since April 17, demanding better conditions of confinement and an end to detention without trial. The condition of two of the hunger strikers is critical. While international human rights organisations have recurrently condemned the Israeli practice of administrative detention as a violation of human rights, the issue has only recently attracted widespread international interest. The time is now ripe to place the issue on the agenda of European Union - Israel relations.

Administrative detention is a pre-emptive measure that allows authorities to detain suspects before the trial. While the procedure can be applied to anyone and exists in many countries, the issue has become particularly pressing in Israel. Israeli authorities use administrative detention principally to constrain Palestinian political activism and apply the procedure for an unlimited period of time without pressing charges. As of April 2012, there were 309 administrative detainees in Israeli prisons, contributing to the total tally of 5 000 Palestinians in Israeli jails, including 27 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. A great many of these prisoners — some 2 000 — have been on a hunger strike since April 17, demanding better conditions of confinement and an end to detention without trial. The condition of two of the hunger strikers is critical. While international human rights organisations have recurrently condemned the Israeli practice of administrative detention as a violation of human rights, the issue has only recently attracted widespread international interest. The time is now ripe to place the issue on the agenda of European Union - Israel relations.