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Resolution adopted unanimously by the Governing Council
at its 174rd session (Mexico, 23 April 2004)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the outline of the case of Mr. Hussam Khader, an incumbent member of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/174/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 173rd session (October 2003),

Recalling that Mr. Khader was arrested on 17 March 2003 at his home in Balata refugee camp by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), who reportedly confiscated personal property of his, including a computer, a mobile telephone and papers relating to his parliamentary work; they then took him to the Petah Tikva detention camp and investigation headquarters in Israel; the detention orders have reportedly since been regularly renewed; according to the sources, Mr. Khader is frequently transferred from one prison to another; he is reportedly suffering from severe spinal pain as a result of the interrogation methods, sleep deprivation and conditions of detention; although his state of health is said to be deteriorating, he reportedly does not receive the medical treatment he needs,

Recalling that, according to information provided by the Speaker of the Knesset in June 2003, Mr. Khader was arrested on suspicion of extensive involvement in the military activities of the Tanzim, a terror organisation, including the financing of specific acts of terror; the evidence in this case was being examined by the IDF prosecution authorities in order to determine whether to indict Mr. Khader and bring him to trial; at the first hearing, on 26 March 2003, before the military investigating judge at the Petah Tikva headquarters, his defence counsel was reportedly not allowed to see any of the evidence gathered against him, such material having been classified by the security forces; Mr. Khader will reportedly be tried by a military court and a first court hearing was reportedly set for December 2003,

Considering that, according to information supplied by the sources on 16 January 2004, Mr. Khader was transferred from Haddarim prison to Beer Saba prison, where he is said to have been detained in solitary confinement in the "Ishel" section of the prison, being denied access to his lawyers,

Recalling that, in view of the widely diverging views of the authorities and the sources regarding Mr. Khader’s situation, in particular his conditions of detention, the Committee decided to carry out an on-site mission but was unable to obtain the agreement of the Israeli authorities because, as stated by the Speaker in his letter of 9 July 2003, "...an official visit by the representatives of the Committee to the accused man in prison would be interpreted as an enquiry committee into the conditions of imprisonment and we cannot therefore accede to this request",

Bearing in mind that Israel is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and is thus bound to respect the rights and liberties therein guaranteed, in particular the right not to be subjected to torture and ill-treatment, the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, and the right to judicial guarantees ensuring fair trial; referring in this respect to the concluding observations of the United Nations Human Rights Committee on Israel’s second periodic report of 21 August 2003 (CCPR/CO/78/ISR) and its concerns about the use of prolonged detention without any access to a lawyer or other outside persons, and about certain interrogation techniques,

  1. Remains deeply concerned at the serious allegations regarding Mr. Khader’s conditions of detention and the interrogation methods used, in particular sleep deprivation, and at the allegation that Mr. Khader has no regular access to his lawyers, who, moreover, are reportedly denied the information required to prepare Mr. Khader's defence;

  2. Deeply regrets that the proposed mission could not be carried out since the Israeli authorities refused to let its delegation meet Mr. Khader; therefore considers that it lacks any data such as might dispel its concerns;

  3. Considers that the legal considerations and arguments put forward in the expert report on Mr. Barghouti's trial with respect to transfer of Palestinian citizens from Palestinian to Israeli territory, the conditions of detention and interrogation methods, and the competence of Israeli courts to judge Mr. Barghouti apply mutis mutandis in this case;

  4. Reiterates its wish to ascertain Mr. Khader’s current situation, in particular his state of health and conditions of detention, and to be kept informed of the proceedings against him;

  5. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the Speaker of the Knesset and to the sources, inviting him to provide the requested information;

  6. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 111th Assembly (September-October 2004).

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