Sent: 12 March 2008 14:07
Subject: [SPAM] WAVE OF ARRESTS AT BIRZEIT UNIVERSITY
Wave of arrests
Right to Education, R2E, 3 March 2008
Since January 2008, eight
Three of the eight arrests are held under administrative detention - a system of incarceration without trial based on 'secret' evidence Â– meaning there was no evidence to suggest they violated any Israeli laws at the time of the arrest. Administrative Detention is detention authorized by administrative order rather than by judicial decree under the pretext that there is not yet sufficient evidence to merit a case but that the person should be incarcerated until enough evidence is found. Prisoners can spend many years in prison waiting for a charge to be brought against them.
The arrests include the acting head of the Student Council,
The sentencing came as a result of an earlier probation order which required Fadi to give up membership to any political party for three years. In December 2004, Fadi had been arrested for being a member of the Islamic Bloc and sentenced to 10 months in prison. Since he had never been connected with any armed activity, he was released on probation early, in September 2005, on the condition that he did not engage with a student group for the next three years.
Birzeit's Right to Education Campaign lawyer explained that Fadi fell victim to a wave of politically motivated arrests which rest on flimsy legal proceedings, "His charge this time was based on a prisoner's confession obtained by Shin Bet [an Israeli intelligence agency], stating that Fadi was a member of 'Al Qutleh Islamieh' [Islamic Bloc] in 2006, but the army only chose to make a case of it now. They are using Administrative Detention more loosely than usual, not even bothering to claim they have 'secret evidence'."
Israeli military law criminalises membership to student councils which are politically affiliated to the major parties, but focus on the welfare and support for students. The continual arrest of student members is a means of crippling Palestinian political resistance. In Fadi's case, he was arrested for his political ideas alone because there were no charges of connection to an armed movement. It serves as a warning to all Palestinian students: 'today it is Fadi, but tomorrow it could be you.'
Administrative detentions and arrests of student council activists are a legalistic means to punish young Palestinians engaged in political activity.
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