On Sunday 14 September Ghassan Najjar, community activist and SFP Steering Committee member, appeared before Petah Tikva interrogation facility court where a military Judge renewed Ghassan’s detention order for another 7 days. This is the third renewal following his kidnapping on 27 August.
Ghassan’s family are extremely concerned for Ghassan’s health. As previously reported by SFP Ghassan has an underlying knee injury, which he was due to have surgery on and in the meantime was receiving daily painkilling injections. Ghassan is also suffering back pain from the stress positions he is being held in during interrogation. He is receiving medication but typically this is only aspirin and Israeli prison doctors have been accused on many occasions of turning a blind eye to evidence of torture of detainees and inadequate care.
Ghassan was kidnapped from his home on 27 August and since then he has only been able to briefly call his parents once. His lawyer is only able to see him in court for the few minutes he appears and the Israeli Military Judge renews the order under which the Israeli Security Services can continue to hold Ghassan. Ghassan has had no legal advice and his lawyer has not had access to the ‘evidence’ against him. He is also not able to be present with Ghassan while he is being interrogated, which can typically last for hours each day, before detainees are returned to isolation.
Petah Tikva is a notorious interrogation facility inside historical Palestine (‘Israel’), in violation of international law, which states that prisoners must not be transferred out of the territory they are detained within by the occupying force. This also prevents many families from being able to visit their loved ones, as Palestinians are regularly denied permits to travel inside ’48 (historical Palestine, ‘Israel’). Many Gazan families are permanently denied, with their loved one often not seeing their family for many years.
Human rights organisations have repeatedly documented cases of torture, with Palestinians held for weeks on end in tiny cells, subjected to extreme temperatures and constant artificial light. They are then interrogated by the Israeli Security Services for hours on end, shackled with their hands behind their back to metal chairs. Many Palestinians also report beatings and threats against them and their families if they do not ‘confess’. Lawyers are not able to access or accompany their clients during these weeks of interrogation.
On Tuesday 9 September 35 year old Raed al-Jabari died while in Israeli custody. Raed was due for release on bail but was pronounced dead, with the Israeli Prison Service claiming he hung himself. However, following an autopsy, which showed no marks around his neck you’d expect to see if someone hung themselves, the cause of death was established as internal bleeding from multiple blows. It is clear Raed was murdered by the Israeli prison authorities, following his torture. In a similar case a week prior to Raed’s murder, 33 year old Muhammad Hussein Rabee was hospitalised after being tortured for 35 days inside another notorious Israeli interrogation facility in Jerusalem, known as the ‘Russian Compound’.
As of 31 July there were 6,578 Palestinians illegally held by Apartheid Israel, this includes 446 Palestinians held under what is known as administrative detention orders. These detainees receive no trial and are not charged, and their lawyer has no access to any ‘evidence’ against them. They are held under secret orders authorised by an Israeli Military Judge, which can be renewed indefinitely. 73 year old Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq, a community leader and SFP member, is currently being held under a 4 month administrative detention order after he was kidnapped in the middle of night by the Israeli Army on 26 August.
The number of detainees held by Apartheid Israel has already rapidly grown with many Palestinians kidnapped during Israel’s war on the people of Gaza not included in the above figure. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society also released a statement that in the last week alone a further 174 Palestinians had been kidnapped across the West Bank area of Palestine.
SFP urgently asks all friends around the world to sign and share our petition calling for the immediate release of Dr. Yousef and Ghassan.To sign the petition and share with your friends and colleagues please click here.
Please also see our campaign, with suggested letters for your respective representatives, regarding he illegal detention of Dr. Yousef.
In addition, we would ask that you kindly continue to email the British Consulate in Jerusalem asking them to intervene in the case of Ghassan. Ghassan’s one year old son is half British and both his son and British wife are understandably distraught. Please email Suha Zeidan (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Consulate and ask them to visit Ghassan in Petah Tikva and raise the matter of his immediate release with the Israeli Government.
Your help does make a difference and we understand was the reason Ghassan was able to finally, briefly, call home. We kindly ask you keep up that pressure until Ghassan and Dr. Yousef are both safely home with their families, along with all Palestinian political detainees. Dr. Yousef and Ghassan both tirelessly campaigned for Palestinian prisoners, suffering harassment and imprisonment from the Occupation as a result. Ghassan is due back in Court on Sunday 21 September, where is interrogation could be renewed again, please keep up the pressure and demand his unconditional release.
اليوم الاحد -2014-09-14 ..قررت المحكمه الاسرائيليه في مركز تحقيق بتاح تكفا تمديد توقيف الاسيرغسان النجار ثمانية ايام اخرى,و يذكر ان غسان معتقل منذ حوالي 18 يوم يوما مع العلم ان هذا التمديد هو الثالث في ظل ظروف صحيه صعبه يعيشها غسان النجار حيث لازال ممنوعا من التواصل مع المحامي ومع عائلته, وقالت والدته انها تشعر بالقلق على صحة ابنها غسان الذي يعاني من اوجاع في الظهر والقدم والذي يعيش ظروفا نفسيه صعبه وقاسيه وناشدت الهيئات الدوليه التدخل من اجل اطلاق سراح ابنها غسان وتامين العلاج له كما طالبت من كافه الهيئات الانسانيه والحقوقيه التدخل من اجل السماح للمحامي زيارة غسان