Released Palestinian legislator thanks Amnesty
|Hands holding prison bars © iStockphoto.com/helenecanada|
Great news -- we recently received word that a speaker of the Palestinian parliament held in indefinite administrative detention since January has been released.
Aziz Dweik was released on 19 July after spending six months in an Israeli prison held in administrative detention.
He said that the thousands of letters sent by Amnesty International supporters around the world helped secure his freedom:
"The international pressure made a real difference. I could see the Israelis felt under pressure and my lawyer said so too. Really I am in debt to you -- each and every one, Amnesty International, and other international organisations, and local organisations -- for my freedom.
“Normally once you get an administrative detention order it is renewed and renewed again but this one was just one six-month order, and that's because of this, that there was pressure. When I was arrested I thought it was for a long time, the soldiers behaved like they could do anything, they had orders to shoot me if I moved; can you imagine?
“I am feeling well now at home, really great, and I thank you, and I ask you to continue working against unjust detention."
While Aziz is out of detention, some 20 members of the Palestinian Legislative Committee remain behind bars.
Administrative detention terms last for six months at a time, however they can be renewed an infinite number of times.
Detainees are held on the basis of “secret evidence” and so neither them or their lawyers are able to challenge the reason for their detention, which denies them the right to a fair trial.
We’ll continue to fight for an end to the use of administrative detention by Israeli authorities.
Huge thanks to everyone who sent letters on behalf of Aziz. This shows that together our voices can make the world of difference.