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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. 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/183/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 182nd session (April 2008),

Referring also to the study of the Israeli non-governmental organization Yesh Din (Volunteers for Human Rights) on the implementation of due process rights in Israeli military courts in the West Bank, entitled “Backyard Proceedings”,

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, as well as of information provided the same day by one of the sources,

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 and subsequently brought 19 other charges against Mr. Sa'adat, all of which arise from his leadership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and none of which allege direct involvement in crimes of violence, although seven (dating from 1998 or earlier) allege preparatory or secondary involvement in such acts, and that Mr. Sa'adat has refused to accept the court's jurisdiction since the start of his trial, 

Noting that a hearing in Mr. Sa'adat's case was scheduled for 28 July 2008, at which the court intended to ascertain whether Mr. Sa'adat was prepared to present his defence regarding the prosecution evidence, and that the judge prolonged his imprisonment without adducing any grounds,

Recalling that, at the meeting the IPU President 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 Palestinian Legislative Council members should not be provided and undertook to ensure that such information was provided; noting, however, that no such information has been provided,

Noting in this respect that, in his letter of 8 October, the Permanent Representative of Israel stated that the “Palestinian parliamentarians detained in Israel for their connection to terrorist activities continue to enjoy rights stipulated under Israeli law with due respect paid to humanitarian concerns” and noted that “this is in stark contrast to the depraved conditions of detention that the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit endures under the Palestinian authorities. He continues to be denied even the most basic humanitarian assurances, including visits by the ICRC”,

Bearing in mind also the prisoner exchange between Israel and the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which took place on 16 July 2008, a move which the United Nations Secretary-General welcomed, expressing the hope that it might soon be followed by action for the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit and of Palestinian prisoners,

  1. Thanks the Permanent Representative of Israel for his letter of 8 October 2008; nevertheless regrets that it does not provide the requested information on Ahmed Sa'adat's conditions of detention, his state of health and the judicial proceedings brought against him;

  2. Reaffirms that Mr. Sa'adat's abduction and transfer to Israel was not related to the murder charge but rather to his political activities as PFLP General Secretary and that the proceedings against him are therefore based on considerations alien to the law;

  3. Reiterates its wish to be authorized to pay Mr. Sa'adat a private visit; and reiterates its wish to receive official information regarding Mr. Sa'adat's conditions of detention and the judicial proceedings against him;

  4. Requests the Secretary General to take steps with a view to ensuring international observation of Mr. Sa'adat's trial;

  5. Earnestly hopes that Mr. Sa'adat and the other detained Palestinian parliamentarians will be included in any prisoner exchange, which it hopes will take place soon;

  6. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 120th Assembly of the IPU (April 2009).
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