Freedom for Khalida Jarrar! End administrative detention!
We, the undersigned organizations, come together to demand freedom for Palestinian political leader Khalida Jarrar, prominent leftist, feminist, prisoners' rights advocate and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. She has been imprisoned without charge and without trial since July 2017 - and now the Israeli military occupation has declared that her imprisonment will be extended for an additional four months.
On July 2, 2017, Khalida Jarrar's home was raided by Israeli occupation soldiers in a pre-dawn raid. She was ordered shortly thereafter to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. She is one of approximately 450 Palestinians held under administrative detention, a relic of the British colonial mandate that has been used by the Israeli occupation to jail thousands of Palestinian community and political leaders, and one of approximately 6,100 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
In December 2017, her detention was renewed for another six months. Now, another military order declares that she will be imprisoned for four more months. Administrative detention orders can be issued for up to six months at a time and are indefinitely renewable. Palestinians can spend years at a time jailed under these orders, never knowing when they could be released, if ever.
As Addameer notes, “This practice of arbitrary detention is a grave violation of international laws and human rights standards, particularly articles 78 and 72 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which state that an accused individual has the right to defend him/herself. This also violates Article 66 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the basic standards of fair trial.”
On July 2, an Israeli military court is scheduled to approve the detention order. Jarrar, like all administrative detainees, has boycotted these hearings since February, as they are mere rubber-stamp sessions used as a fig leaf to "legitimize" the arbitrary imprisonment of Palestinians.
Jarrar is a Palestinian political leader, representing the Abu Ali Mustafa Bloc, allied with the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in the Palestinian Legislative Council. She is a frequent leader and participant in demonstrations and popular actions for Palestinian freedom, a a long-time Palestinian political prisoners’ advocate and former executive director of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and now a member of its board, and chair of the Prisoners’ Committee of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
She has also been active in the Palestinian women’s movement since her earliest days as a university student organizing with other female students to challenge the occupation. She is a leading organizer of International Women’s Day events in Palestine and coordinates closely with Palestinian women’s organizations. “Palestinian women are full partners in the Palestinian struggle,” she emphasizes.
Khalida Jarrar is heavily involved in the fight to hold Israeli officials accountable for war crimes in the International Criminal Court. She is a member of a Palestinian commission charged with bringing complaints and files before the international court about ongoing Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people, from attacks on Gaza to land confiscation and settlement construction to mass arrests and imprisonment.
Since 1998, she has been forbidden to travel outside occupied Palestine. When she needed medical treatment in Jordan in 2010, she struggled for months in a public campaign before finally receiving it. The Israeli occupation attempted to forcibly displace her from her home to Jericho in 2014, and in 2015, arrested and jailed her 14 months for her political activities.
The extended administrative detention of Khalida Jarrar is an attempt to remove an effective, grassroots leader from the Palestinian national movement. Especially now, when people are taking to the streets throughout occupied Palestine and thousands are marching in Gaza for the Great Return March, leaders like her are targeted for arrest and imprisonment in an attempt to defuse the Palestinian struggle.
Khalida Jarrar is being targeted as a Palestinian leader, a Palestinian voice for justice, and an active Palestinian woman. Her imprisonment is yet another attack by the Israeli colonial state against the Palestinian people struggling for freedom, and administrative detention and the mass imprisonment of Palestinians are two of the weapons used in an attempt to break the Palestinian liberation movement.
We come together today to demand the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar, an end to the policy and practice of administrative detention and freedom for Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. We pledge to struggle for justice through protests, actions, organizing and escalating boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) actions against Israel, in Khalida’s own spirit of resistance.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network