Amnesty International Denounces Extended Detention of Palestinian Journalist Hassan Safadi

Hassan Safadi during a court hearing. (Photo via Social Media)

Amnesty International has condemned on Monday the renewal of the administrative detention of Palestinian journalist Hassan Safadi, with the group denouncing what it described “the latest example of Israel’s long-standing attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders.”

The Israeli army detained Safadi, who works as a media coordinator for prisoners rights group Addameer, while he was crossing the Allenby Bridge connecting the occupied West Bank and Jordan in May, placing him under interrogation for 40 days.

Israeli authorities sentenced the 25-year-journalist to six months of administrative detention in June of this year without a charge or a trial on the same day that his parents paid a 2,500-shekel ($650) bail for his release.

“Safadi’s administrative detention was extended by another six months on Dec. 7,” Amnesty reported, with a court hearing scheduled for Dec. 23 to confirm the extension.

According to Amnesty, Safadi was also sentenced in October to three months in prison for visiting an “enemy country” — Lebanon — where he had attended a conference on justice, accountability, and prisoners’ rights.

In its statement, Amnesty called on Israeli authorities to “release Hassan Ghassan Ghalid Safadi, and all other administrative detainees, unless they are to be charged with recognizable criminal offences and tried fairly and promptly,” and to “end their long-standing attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders and halt the harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.”

Amnesty also urged for an investigation into Safadi’s claim that he was subjected to sleep deprivation and “stress positions” during his interrogation – amounting to torture – as well as denied access to a lawyer for the first 10 days of his detention.

Rights groups have claimed that Israel’s detention policy has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

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