Amnesty International: Ahmad Qatamesh a prisoner of conscience

Amnesty International released an urgent action alert on Friday following Israel’s imposition on an administrative detention order on Palestinian writer and activist Ahmad Qatamesh. Amnesty writes:

Palestinian academic and writer Ahmad Qatamesh is being held as an administrative detainee, which allows the Israeli authorities to detain him indefinitely without charge and denies him any real opportunity to challenge the detention order.

Amnesty adds:

Amnesty International is concerned that Ahmad Qatamesh is being detained for the peaceful expression of his political views and therefore a prisoner of conscience.

Ahmad Qatamesh was arrested by the IDF in 1992 and reportedly tortured. He documented his experiences in a publication called “I shall not wear your tarboosh [fez]”. Over a year later he was placed under administrative detention after a judge had ordered his release on bail. After repeated administrative detention orders, he was eventually released on 15 April 1998.

Last week, Hanin Ahmad Qatamesh, the detained writer’s daughter, described in an article for The Electronic Intifada how Israeli soldiers invaded their family home in Ramallah. Hanin and other relatives in the home were held hostage as Israeli soldiers demanded the surrender of Ahmad, who was not at home at the time. The Electronic Intifada also interviewed Qatamesh’s wife, Suha Barghouti, a well-known human rights defender.

Amnesty International is calling on supporters to write to the relevant Israeli authorities before 13 May to demand the release of Qatamesh or charge him with a crime, and to abolish the use of administrative detention orders.

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Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is the managing editor of The Electronic Intifada and lives in Chicago.