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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 191st session
(Québec, 24 October 2012)

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, and to the resolution it adopted at its 190th session (April 2012),

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 Mr. Sa’adat had not been involved in the killing but charged the other four suspects; 19 other charges were subsequently brought against Mr. Sa’adat, all arising from his leadership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which Israel considers a terrorist organization, and none of which allege direct involvement in crimes of violence; on 25 December 2008, Mr. Sa’adat was sentenced to 30 years in prison;

  • Mr. Sa’adat suffers from cervical neck pain, high blood pressure and asthma and has reportedly not been examined by a physician and is not receiving the medical treatment he needs; when he was first detained, the Israeli authorities refused to let his wife visit him; for the first seven months, Mr. Sa’adat received no family visits; his children, who have Palestinian identity cards, have not been allowed to visit their father since his arrest, for reasons unknown; in March and June 2009, Mr. Sa’adat was placed in solitary confinement, prompting him to go on a nine-day hunger strike in June 2009;

  • On 21 October 2010, Mr. Sa’adat’s isolation order, due to expire on 21 April 2011, was confirmed a fourth time for a further six months; it was apparently again extended in October 2011, bringing Mr. Sa’adat’s time in isolation to three years,

Recalling that international human rights bodies, particularly the United Nations Committee against Torture and the United Nations  Human Rights Committee, have on several occasions concluded that prolonged periods of isolation are an act of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment,

Considering the following: Mr. Sa’adat’s isolation ended in May 2012 as part of the agreement ending the April-May 2012 hunger strike by some 2,000 Palestinian detainees in Israel; it appears that Mr. Sa’adat was transferred in September 2012 from Shata Prison to Hadarim Prison, where he was placed in “collective isolation” in retaliation for his comments rejecting as illegitimate the “occupation courts” and calling for “occupation officials” to be put on trial for their crimes against the Palestinian people; “collective isolation” in Hadarim Prison concerns a small group of prisoners held together but separate from the larger Palestinian prisoner population; one of the sources affirmed in September 2012 that, while Mr. Sa’adat’s wife and oldest son have been able to visit him, his other three children continue to be denied permits,

Recalling that, in its concluding observations on Israel’s third periodic report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the United Nations 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. Welcomes the fact that Mr. Sa’adat’s isolation has finally been ended;

  2. Deplores, however, that three of his children are still unable to visit him; calls on the Israeli authorities to do everything possible to allow them to visit their father; wishes to have official information in this regard and, more generally, on Mr. Sa’adat’s current conditions of detention;

  3. Reaffirms its long-standing position that Mr. Sa’adat’s abduction and transfer to Israel were related not to the murder charge but rather to his political activities as PFLP General Secretary, and that the proceedings against him were therefore politically motivated; reiterates, therefore, its call for his immediate release;

  4. 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 information requested;

  5. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and to report back to it in due course.

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