For the first time since the previous intifada, more than 1000 Palestinians are being held in administrative detention.
There are currently 1007 administrative detainees in IDF holding facilities – 881 are held in the Ketziot prison, 111 at the Ofer detention center and 15 in various local detention facilities. In addition, as of December 2002, there were 11 administrative detainees in various Prison Services’ facilities.
In January 2002, there were 36 administrative detainees.
B’Tselem urges the Israeli government to release all administrative detainees immediately, and to discontinue the extensive use of this measure. Detainees against whom there is evidence should be brought to a fair trial, and given the right to present their case.
Administrative detention is detention without charge or trial, authorized by a major general’s order rather than by judicial decree. Administrative detention is permitted under international law, but because of the serious injury to due process rights inherent in this measure and the obvious danger of abuse, international law has placed rigid restrictions on its application.
Israel blatantly ignores these restrictions. Since operation Defensive Shield, the IDF has significantly increased the use of administrative detention. Each administrative detention warrant must undergo a military judicial review, yet this does not prevent the sweeping use of this measure. Most warrants are approved. Administrative detainees are not informed of the allegations against them and are not given a chance to present a defense. Administrative detainees do not know when they will be released, since in many cases as soon as the detention warrant expires, the major general signs another one.