IPU Logo-middleInter-Parliamentary Union  
IPU Logo-bottomChemin du Pommier 5, C.P. 330, CH-1218 Le Grand-Saconnex/Geneva, Switzerland  


Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 189th session
(Bern, 19 October 2011)

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/189/11(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 188th session (April 2011),

Referring also to the study produced by 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", which reveals the absence of due process rights in those courts, and to the study published in September 2006 by B’Tselem (the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) entitled "Barred from Contact: Violation of the Right to Visit Palestinians Held in Israeli Prisons",

Recalling the following:

  • 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 Hadarim prison in Israel together with four other prisoners suspected of involvement in the murder; the Israeli authorities concluded one month later that he had not been involved in the killing and charged the other four suspects with the murder; subsequently 19 other charges were brought against Mr. Sa’adat, all of which arise from his leadership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), considered a terrorist organization by Israel, and none of which allege direct involvement in crimes of violence; on 25 December 2008 Mr. Sa’adat was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment;

  • Mr. Sa’adat suffers from cervical neck pain, high blood pressure and asthma and has reportedly not been examined by a physician and does not receive the necessary medical treatment; at the beginning of his detention the Israeli authorities refused to let his wife visit him; for the first seven months, Mr. Sa’adat received no family visits; his children, with Palestinian identity cards, have not been allowed to visit their father since his arrest, for reasons unknown; in March and June 2009, solitary confinement was imposed on him, which was why he went on a nine-day hunger strike in June 2009;

  • On 21 October 2010, Mr. Sa’adat’s fourth isolation order, due to expire on 21 April 2011, was confirmed for a further six months, and has in April 2011 reportedly once again been extended so that he has been held in isolation for almost three years,
Noting that, in protest against the abusive use of isolation by the Israeli Prison Service and the announcement in July 2011 by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu of a new punitive policy which would further restrict prisoners’ access to education and family visits and increase the use of isolation and fines as punishment, prisoners held in different Israeli prisons have been on a hunger strike since early October 2011; that, according to one of the sources, prisoners from the PFLP have laid particular emphasis in their actions on showing solidarity with Ahmad Sa’adat,

Considering that, according to the terms of the Israel-Hamas brokered prisoner exchange, on 16 October 2011 Israel published a list of 477 Palestinian prisoners to be released in a first stage in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit captured in 2006 during a cross-border attack on Israeli military installations; noting that those to be released include many prisoners convicted of plotting suicide bombings inside buses and restaurants, such as Ahlam Tamimi sentenced to 16 life sentences, but that Mr. Sa’adat is not on the list,

Recalling that, in its concluding observations on the third periodic report of Israel under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),* the Human Rights Committee recommended that all persons under Israel’s jurisdiction and effective control be afforded full enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the Covenant,

  1. Is appalled at what seems to be a systematic renewal of the isolation orders imposed on Mr. Sa’adat which can but only seriously impair his state of health;

  2. Urges the authorities once again to refrain from extending isolation orders on Mr. Sa’adat, and recalls that they are responsible for any irremediable harm to his health while in their custody;

  3. Firmly recalls that, under international human rights law, all persons deprived of their liberty have the right to be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and not to be subjected to torture and to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; recalls that international human rights bodies have on several occasions concluded that prolonged periods of isolation are tantamount to torture;

  4. Reiterates its wish to ascertainMr. Sa’adat’s current conditions of detention and to be granted permission to visit Mr. Sa’adat;

  5. Considers that the many national and international reports denouncing the detention conditions of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails should be of concern to the Knesset; reaffirms that the Knesset is not only fully entitled to but should exercise its oversight function of the Israeli prison service with regard not only to Israeli but also to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, and so ensure that all persons under Israel’s jurisdiction and effective control are afforded full enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);

  6. Reaffirms its position that Mr. Sa’adat’s abduction and transfer to Israel was related not to the murder charge but rather to his political activities as PFLP General Secretary, and that the proceedings brought against him were, therefore, based on political considerations;

  7. Deeply regrets that Mr. Sa’dat is not on the list of the Palestinian prisoners to be released in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit; reiterates its call for his immediate release;

  8. Requests the Secretary General to forward this resolution to the Speaker of the Knesset and to the competent Israeli governmental and administrative authorities, and to seek from them the requested information;

  9. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held during the 126th IPU Assembly (March/April 2012).

Note: you can download a complete electronic version of the brochure "Results of the 125th IPU Assembly and related meetings" in PDF format (file size 718 Kb approximately). This version requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download free of charge.Get Acrobat Reader