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PALESTINE
CASE N° PAL/ 04 - HUSSAM KHADER
Resolution adopted unanimously by the Governing Council
at its 175th session (Geneva, 1st October 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, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/175/11(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 174th session (April 2004),

Taking account of the letter from the Diplomatic Adviser to the Speaker of the Knesset dated 26 September 2004, and of communications from the sources dated 4, 11 and 23 September 2004,

Referring also to the report on the trial of Mr. Marwan Barghouti, drawn up at its request by Mr. Simon Foreman,

Recalling that Mr. Khader was arrested on 17 March 2003 at his home in Balata refugee camp by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) on suspicion "of extensive involvement in the terrorist activities of the Tanzim including the financing of specific acts of terror"; considering that, according to the authorities, Mr. Khader has been charged with attempted murder, as well as with performing services for an unlawful organisation under the Defence Regulations (Emergency) 1945; he is also accused of channelling funds to terrorists, ordering others to organise terror attacks and providing funds for weapons to carry out suicide attacks with the intention of killing Israeli citizens; Mr. Khader denies all the accusations, claiming that they were fabricated and obtained from witnesses under duress; noting in this connection that his lawyer was reportedly denied access to the investigation material gathered by the prosecution,

Considering that, according to the authorities, a court hearing was held on 19 September 2004 and the next hearing has been set for the second half of November 2004; the sources say 28 December 2004,

Considering that, according to the sources, Mr. Khader has been constantly transferred from once prison to another, often without his family or legal counsel being informed; he was reportedly subjected to sleep deprivation and interrogation methods which caused him severe back pain; he reportedly does not receive the medical treatment he requires; considering further that, after Mr. Khader had been placed for a long time in solitary confinement, he went on a hunger strike in March 2004 which he ended after nine days, having been moved to a cell with another prisoner; in mid-August 2004, Mr. Khader and fellow Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons started a hunger strike to denounce the poor prison conditions; despite his fragile health, he was reportedly again transferred and is said to be held at present in Haddarim prison,

Considering that, according to the sources, family visits have been extremely limited - only one of his sisters was reportedly allowed to visit him once - and his three small children have reportedly been able to see him only at court hearings; given the many refusals by the authorities to allow Mr. Khader to meet his defence counsel, the latter sent a preliminary petition to the Ministry of Justice demanding that it lift the prohibition preventing him from meeting Mr. Khader; noting in this respect that, on 1 September 2004, the Supreme Court of Israel, ruling on a petition submitted by two non-governmental organisations, decided that the right of prisoners and detainees to meet with their lawyers was guaranteed, including those on hunger strike, and declared that barring such meetings was unlawful,

  1. Thanks the Diplomatic Adviser to the Speaker of the Knesset for the information he provided;

  2. Considers that the legal arguments put forward in Mr. Foremanís report on the trial of Mr. Barghouti in respect of the forcible transfer of Palestinians to Israeli territory for the purpose of their prosecution and the incompatibility of certain interrogation methods and conditions of detention with international human rights law apply mutatis mutandis also in the case of Mr. Khader;

  3. Urges, therefore, the Israeli authorities to transfer Mr. Khader to the custody of the Palestinian authorities with a view to his being prosecuted by them, in accordance with international law;

  4. Urges the authorities, in the meantime, to allow Mr. Khader regular access to his family and defence counsel, to provide him with the medical treatment he needs, and to treat him in accordance with the fair trial guarantees set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

  5. Reiterates its earlier wish to carry out an on-site mission to gather from the competent parliamentary, governmental, judicial and administrative authorities, as well as from Mr. Khader himself and his family, as detailed information as possible on his situation, and requests the Secretary General to take the necessary steps with a view to organising such a visit;

  6. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the authorities and to the sources;

  7. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 112th Assembly (April 2005).


* The Israeli and Palestine delegations took the floor to comment on the resolution. Their observations may be found in the Summary Records of the 175th session of the Governing Council.

 

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