Rights Groups Urge UN Special Procedures to Address Israeli Detention of Human Rights Defender

French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri. (Photo: File)

In a joint urgent appeal to UN special procedures, rights groups called for addressing Israel’s arbitrary arrest and detention of Palestinian-French human rights defender and lawyer, Salah Hammouri, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

The joint urgent appeal was submitted to the UN special procedures from the Association France Palestine Solidarite; Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies; the Palestinian Human Rights Council, including Al-Haq; and the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine.

Salah Hammouri, 36, is a Palestinian- French Jerusalemite, Human Rights Defender, lawyer and member of the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, as well as a former political prisoner.

On March 7, between 4:00 and 5:00 am, about 25 Israeli soldiers, including special unit forces, Musta’ribeen Unit, broke Salah Hammouri’s apartment door in Kufr Aqab north of Jerusalem, entered his bedroom, and grabbed him from his bed while he was still sleeping. The soldiers ransacked the premises and confiscated three mobile phones and one laptop belonging to Hammouri.

During his arrest, Hammouri sustained an injury to his wrist as he was bound with a plastic zip-tie, aggressively escorted out, and forced to kneel on the floor facing a wall until he was transferred to a military jeep.

He was first taken to Ofer military base in Beitounia, Ramallah, where he was held until the evening and later transferred to the Russian compound (Mascobbiya) interrogation center in West Jerusalem.

On March 9, an Israeli military judge extended Hammouri’s initial detention order which was soon followed by three-month administrative detention ordered by the Israeli military commander on the basis of “secret information”

Hammouri was in the process of challenging the decision by the Israeli Interior Ministry to revoke his permanent residency status in Jerusalem, described by the rights groups as “profound violations of international law and puts him at imminent risk of forced deportation, amounting to grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, the war crime of forced population transfer, and crimes against humanity of displacement, and apartheid.”

The rights groups called on the UN special procedures to require the immediate initiation of an investigation into the illegal infiltration of human rights defenders’ phones and all the other victims that have been in communication with the targeted HRD.

They also called for international justice and accountability, including at the International Criminal Court, for Israel’s widespread and systematic human rights violations and alleged international crimes, including the crime of population transfer and the crime of apartheid, which constitutes a crime against humanity.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

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