Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar is facing an unfair trial before an Israeli military court on several charges. On 4 May an administrative detention order which allowed her to be held without charge expired after the Israeli military reduced her detention period from six months to one month. She remains in detention pending trial.
The Israeli Military Commander did not notify Khalida Jarrar’s lawyers of the decision to reduce the period of her administrative detention until 5 May, just one day before it was due to be reviewed by a military judge. She remains in HaSharon Prison, Israel, facing charges of membership of an illegal organization, participation in protests and incitement to kidnap Israeli soldiers, for which she could be imprisoned for at least two years. A review of her eligibility for bail was also adjourned at the last minute on 29 April and, according to her lawyers, is expected to happen in the week beginning 11 May this hyperlink. During which time the prosecution can submit secret evidence in support of their demand for her continued detention. The military prosecution say that they have testimony from two Palestinian prisoners stating that they heard Khalida Jarrar advocate for the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers for use in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. This is something Khalida Jarrar denies vehemently.
Khalida Jarrar is to stand trial before an Israeli military court where procedures fall short of international standards for fair trial. Judges and prosecutors are recruited from the Israeli military. Judges are appointed by the Regional Commander on the Military Advocate General’s recommendation and promoted almost exclusively from the ranks of prosecutors. Once appointed, judges have no right of tenure and can be removed by the Regional Commander at any time. As a result of this lack of tenure and the close links between military judges and prosecutors, serious doubts have been expressed about their impartiality. Further, trials are often based on confessions from witnesses who have been known to withdraw them later on grounds they were made under duress. In addition, defendants regularly resort to plea bargains even when they are innocent because they do not believe they will have a fair trial and feel they have no other choice than to accept a guilty plea which will lead to a reduced sentence.
Please write immediately in Hebrew, English or your own language:
- Expressing concern that Israeli military court hearings are seriously flawed and calling on them to take all measures to ensure Khalida Jarrar is given a prompt trial in accordance with international fair trial standards;
- Urging the authorities to ensure that any hearing reviewing her detention meets international standards including the presumption of release prior to trial and disclosure to the defence of any evidence on which a refusal would be based.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 18 JUNE 2015 TO:
Military Judge Advocate General
Brigadier General Danny Efroni
Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel
Fax: +972 3 569 4526
Salutation: Dear Judge Advocate General
Commander of the IDF – West Bank
Major-General Roni Numa
GOC Central Command
Military Post 01149, Battalion 877
Israel Defense Forces, Israel
Fax: +972 2 530 5741, +972 2 530 5724
Salutation: Dear Major-General Roni Numa