Chair of OIC Group at the UN: The Administrative Detention Practiced by Israel is Illegal and the Gravest Form of Arbitrary Detention

The Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations, Chair of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Group, Ambassador Mansour Al Otaibi, underscored that administrative detention as practiced by Israel, the occupying power, is illegal and constitutes the gravest form of arbitrary detention. He indicated that over 700 Palestinian prisoners, including minors, are currently being held by Israel under administrative detention.

This was stated in a letter Ambassador Al Otaibi sent to the UN Secretary General on behalf of the OIC Group, regarding the plight of the Palestinian prisoners and administrative detainees in Israeli jails and detention centers, particularly the critical situation of three prisoners who have been on a continuous hunger strike for two months protesting their administrative detention without trial or charge and the serious abuses by the Israeli occupying force. The three prisoners are: Muhammad Balboul (25), Mahmoud Balboul (22) and Malik Al-Qadi(20).

Ambassador Al Otaibi wrote: It is necessary to note here that, in concluding observations in a 2016 periodic report on implementation of the Convention against Torture, the Committee against Torture called on Israel to “urgently take the measures necessary to end the practice of administrative detention and ensure that all persons who are currently held in administrative detention are afforded all basic legal safeguards”.

He stressed that the persistence of this critical situation demands the urgent attention and intervention of the international community. Further harm, or possible death of any of the hunger-striking detainees, would have serious ramifications on the already fragile and tense situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, he added.

On behalf of the OIC, Ambassador Al Otaibi appealed to the UN Secretary General to use his good offices to exert pressure on Israel, the occupying power, to immediately release the three administrative detainees.

Ambassador Al Otaibi emphasized that Israel must be compelled to fulfill its obligations under international laws, including humanitarian and human rights laws. Serious efforts must be undertaken to compel Israel to act forthwith to cease its arrest and detention of Palestinian civilians, which is happening on a daily basis, and to release the Palestinian prisoners and detainees as an integral part of securing the freedom of the Palestinian people and enabling the exercise of their inalienable right to self-determination, he added.

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