Monday, October 26, 2009

Administrative Detention in Israel: Palestinians Behind Bars with No Recourse to Justice

By Christoph Schult, Spiegel Online International, Oct 23, 2009

Hundreds of Palestinians are kept behind bars in Israel without charges having been filed and with no access to a fair trial. Not even their lawyers are allowed to look at the evidence. Some governments in the West have expressed their concern, but the Israelis haven’t budged.

The cell is only a few square meters in size and there are no windows. A mattress lies on the floor; a hole in the floor for prisoners’ needs, cynically called a “Turkish toilet” is next to it.

Mohammed Othman has been held in Kishon Detention Center in northern Israel for almost a month. But neither he nor his lawyer knows exactly what he is being accused of. Othman is locked up as an administrative detainee — called Maazar Minhali in Hebrew — and is one of around 335 Palestinians currently in the same position.

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