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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 Dr. Abdel Aziz Dweik, Speaker of 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)

Recalling that Dr. Dweik has remained in detention since his arrest during the night of 5 to 6 August 2006 by the Israeli Defence Forces, which came in the context of the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, that he is accused of being a member of a terrorist organization and assuming a leadership role in it; but that no trial is reportedly taking place as hearings are constantly being postponed; that he is reportedly held in deplorable conditions and denied access to the medical care he needs as a diabetic with a gall bladder condition,

Considering in this respect that in November 2007 he was reportedly hospitalized for one week owing to his deteriorating health and severe weight loss,

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 Dr. Dweik's situation has so far not been forthcoming;

  2. Notes that there is consequently nothing which would enable it to change its position that Dr. Dweik's arrest and current detention are quite unrelated to any criminal activity on his part - unless being elected in a free and fair election is considered a crime - and that his arrest and continuing detention are consequently arbitrary and violate his fundamental right to freedom;

  3. Reaffirms moreover that Dr. Dweik's arrest and continuing detention not only prejudice the right of the Palestinian citizens who elected him to be represented by the person of their choice, but also constitute an affront to the Palestinian Legislative Council itself, whose authority the Speaker symbolizes;

  4. Urges therefore the Israeli authorities once again to release Dr. Dweik forthwith, or to bring founded and recognizable charges of criminal activity against him and try him in open court fully respecting international fair trial standards; requests the Secretary General to look into the possibility of sending an observer to any judicial proceedings that may take place;

  5. 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 these reports because it believes that parliament, as a guardian of human rights, should do its utmost to remedy human rights abuses, whether they affect Israeli citizens or Palestinians in the hands of Israeli authorities;

  6. Is alarmed at the reported worsening of Dr. Dweik's health, which seems to bear out earlier reports about the lack of appropriate medical care for him; firmly recalls that the Israeli authorities are duty-bound to provide Dr. Dweik with the medical care he needs, and urges them to do so forthwith; reiterates its wish to receive official information about his conditions of detention, in particular the medical care provided him;

  7. Reiterates also its wish for the Committee to be permittedto pay Dr. Dweik a private visit;

  8. 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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