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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 183rd session
(Geneva, 15 October 2008)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Hussam Khader, a former member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/183/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 182nd session (April 2008),

Referring also to Mr. Simon Foreman's report on Mr. Khader's trial (CL/177/11(a)-R.2) and to Mr. Sadakat Kadri's report on the proceedings relating to Mr. Khader's application for early release (CL/182/12(b)-R.2),

Taking account of the letter from the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, dated 8 October 2008, which he addressed to the IPU Secretary General on behalf of the Speaker of the Knesset; also taking account of the information provided by one of the sources on 5 September 2008,

Recalling the following:

  • Mr. Hussam Khader was convicted and sentenced in September/November 2005 on the basis of a plea bargain regarding both the conviction and the sentencing; the IPU trial observer, Mr. Simon Foreman, concluded in his report on the trial of Mr. Khader that he "has not, since his arrest [in March 2003], had the benefit of compliance with the international rules of fair trial"; in his report, Mr. Foreman also referred to the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment inflicted on Mr. Khader while in detention, on which no convincing evidence to the contrary has been submitted by the Israeli authorities; the IPU has been consistently calling for his release;

  • Mr. Khader's petition for early release was dismissed on 17 February 2008; in his report on the proceedings before the release committee, Mr. Kadri concluded that “the serious concerns Mr. Foreman expressed in his report about the fairness of Mr. Khader's trial have been compounded by the release committee's refusal to grant him early release. Although the adjournments that preceded the committee's final decision suggest that its members were concerned not simply to rubber-stamp the security service's views about Mr. Khader, their eventual reliance on the Shabak's secret report ultimately left him in a hopeless position. The committee's ruling was founded on allegations made by unidentified people for unidentifiable reasons, which Mr. Khader and his lawyer were not permitted to know, let alone test. The only additional input came from Mr. Khader himself, and the release committee's insistence that he satisfactorily explain his ‘ideology' to obtain release effectively turned his offence into a thought crime - imposing a demand for mental capitulation that his vocalized support for peace could not satisfy”,
Considering that Mr. Khader was among the 200 Palestinian prisoners released on 25 August 2008 by the Israeli authorities as a goodwill gesture to the Palestinian Authority,
  1. Thanks the Israeli authorities, in particular the Speaker of the Knesset and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, for their assistance in this case; 

  2. Is pleased that Mr. Khader has finally been released and decides to close his case;

  3. Nevertheless reaffirms its conviction, in the light of Mr. Foreman's and Mr. Kadri's reports on Mr. Khader's trial and the proceedings before the release committee, that Mr. Khader did not enjoy a fair trial.
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