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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 182nd session
(Cape Town, 18 April 2008)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Ahmad Sa'adat, elected in January 2006 to the Palestinian Legislative Council, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/182/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 181st session (October 2007),

Referring to the expert report of Mr. Simon Foreman (CL/177/11(a)-R.2) on the trial of Mr. Marwan Barghouti, which contains a detailed chapter on the legality of the transfer of Palestinian citizens to Israeli territory,

Recalling that on 14 March 2006, Mr. Sa'adat, whom the Israeli authorities had accused of involvement in the October 2001 murder of Mr. R. Zeevi, the Israeli Minister of Tourism, was abducted by the Israeli Defence Forces from Jericho jail and transferred to an Israeli jail; that in late April 2006, in the absence of sufficient evidence, the Israeli authorities dropped the charge of involvement in Mr. Zeevi's murder,

Considering that, according to recent information from Israeli non-governmental sources, 19 other charges were brought against Mr. Sa'adat which, according to those sources, all arise out of his leadership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and none allege direct involvement in crimes of violence, although seven (dating from 1998 or earlier) alleged preparatory or secondary involvement in such acts; that since the start of his trial Mr. Sa'adat has refused to accept the court's jurisdiction,

Noting the study of the Israeli non-governmental organization Yesh Din (Volunteers for Human Rights) on the implementation of due process rights in the Israeli military courts in the West Bank entitled “Backyard Proceedings”, which reveals the absence of due process in those courts, in particular as regards decision-taking in matters of detention and the length of detention, publicity of proceedings, rights of the defence to have access to prosecution material and, in general, the length of proceedings, most of which conclude with plea bargains,

Considering that, at the meeting IPU President Casini and the Secretary General had with the Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs during their visit to Israel in early February 2008, she stated that there was no reason why information on the judicial proceedings in this and other cases of PLC members should not be provided and she undertook to ensure that such information would indeed be provided,

  1. Regrets that, despite the undertaking of the Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs, the requested official information on the proceedings has so far not been provided;

  2. Reiterates therefore its wish to ascertain (i) the exact charges brought against Mr. Sa'adat and the facts adduced to substantiate them, (ii) the stage reached in the judicial proceedings which have now been under way for two years, and (iii) his conditions of detention, in particular his access to his lawyer, family and friends, and to medical treatment;

  3. Notes that the serious concernsit has expressed about fair process in this and the other cases of PLC members it has under review are borne out in Yesh Din's report, “Backyard Proceedings”; is particularly distressed at the apparent lack of any reaction from the parliamentary authorities to those reports as it believes that parliament, as a guardian of human rights, should do its utmost to remedy human rights abuses, whether they concern Israeli citizens or Palestinians in the hands of Israeli authorities;

  4. Reaffirms its strong belief that Mr. Sa'adat's abduction and transfer to Israel was not related to the murder charge, but rather to Mr. Sa'adat's political activities as PFLP General Secretary, since he was abducted and detained by the Israeli authorities on a murder charge that was dropped, soon after his transfer, for lack of evidence; emphasizes in this respect that Mr. Sa'adat has been sought by the Israeli authorities ever since Mr. Zeevi's murder in October 2001, and that consequently they had more than four years to prepare the case and gather all the necessary evidence;

  5. Affirms that Mr. Sa'adat's abduction from a Palestinian prison and his transfer to Israeli territory was moreover in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Oslo Accords and that he should therefore be transferred to Palestinian territory forthwith;

  6. Reiterates its wish for the Committee to be authorized to pay Mr. Sa'adat a private visit;

  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 119th Assembly of the IPU (Geneva, October 2008).
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