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[04 Apr 2015]

FOR THE IMMEDIATE LIBERATION OF KHALEDA  JARRAR

Khaleda Jarrar, an MP in the Palestinian Parliament, was detained last Thursday, April 2, when several dozen elements of the Israeli army assaulted her home in Ramallah, where she was with her husband and daughter.

Khaleda Jarrar, is a 52-year old lawyer, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and human rights activist. She chairs the Committee for Palestinian Prisoners of the Palestinian Legislative Council (Parliament) and she is a leader of Addameer, an organization devoted to the defense of prisoners' rights. She is also a member of several organizations that defend women's rights.

Since 1998 she is banned from traveling outside Palestine and only once, in 2010, after months of public campaigns, was she authorized to receive medical treatment in Jordan, despite suffering from a chronic illness.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Army, quoted by the Ma'an News Agency, accused Kahleda Jarrar of being the leader of a 'terrorist organization' and of having encouraged 'terrorist activities' in recent weeks. However, as Addameer clarifies, "most Palestinian political organizations are considered illegal by Israel, including PLO member organizations, and an association with such organizations is frequently used as a pretext for detention".

The same Israeli spokesperson justified the detention with the fact that Khaleda Jarrar refused to accept a deportation order issued last August. In fact, she received from the Israeli occupation authorities  a deportation order from Ramallah to Jericho. She refused to accept it and set up a tent, in the lobby of the Palestinian Parliament in Ramallah,where she lived and worked until, on September 16, the deportation order was annulled, following an international campaign in her support. A PLO statement, issued at the time, considered the order illegal because it violated "Israel's obligations under international law and treaties to respect the rights of individuals, including the rights to self-determination, freedom of movement, privacy, and protection of the family". Furthermore, this order represented an attempt at a "forcible transfer, unlawful confinement and persecution, all of which are crimes punishable under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court".

Today, there are 18 Palestinian members of Parliament in jail, 9 of which under administrative detention, without due process or duly charged. There are over six thousand Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, 454 of which are under administrative detention. According to data available on February 2015, 163 of these are children, of which 13 are under 16 years of age.

Considering that the detention of Khaleda Jarrar

  • is an attempt to break the Palestinian people's spirit of resistance to the occupation, depriving them of their leaders and activists in defense of their rights
  • is an attack against democracy, targeting a freely elected representative of the people
  • was carried out in violation of international law and international humanitarian law, namely the Geneva Conventions, as regards the obligations and restrictions on an occupying power

The Portuguese Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and Peace in the Middle East (MPPM):

  • Demands, from the Government of Israel, the immediate liberation of Khaleda Jarrar and other Palestinian MPs under arrest without charge, as well as of all Palestinian prisoners who are illegitimately and illegally in Israeli jails;
  • Calls upon all Members of the Portuguese Parliament to express their solidarity with Khaleda Jarrar and other Palestinian MPs jailed by Israel, demanding the respect for their rights;
  • Demands, that the Portuguese Government, in its relations with Israel and in keeping with the Constitution of the [Portuguese] Republic and the dispositions of international law and international humanitarian law to which Portugal has signed up, draws the full consequences of Israel's repeated non-abidance of these legal norms.
  • Calls upon all Portuguese Members of the European Parliament to express their solidarity with Khaleda Jarrar and other Palestinian MPs jailed by Israel, demanding respect for their rights, and also demanding that the Governments of the European Union countries draw all consequences from the reiterated violation by Israel of its obligations, as the occupying power of Palestine.

 Lisbon, April 4, 2015

The National Directorate of MPPM

 
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