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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 194th session
(Geneva, 20 March 2014)

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 193rd session (October 2013),

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,

Taking into consideration the information provided at the hearing that the Committee held on 18 March 2014 with members of the Palestinian delegation to the 130th IPU Assembly (Geneva, March 2014),

Recalling the following on file regarding Mr. Sa’adat’s situation:

  • 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 doctor 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, were not allowed to visit their father, 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; his 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; one of the sources affirmed in September 2012 that, while Mr. Sa’adat’s wife and oldest son had been able to visit him, his other three children continued to be denied permits;

  • According to his letter of 6 January 2013, the Diplomatic Advisor to the Knesset stated that: “Mr. Sa’adat was detained in Hadarim Prison. He was held in a regular cell with other inmates, without any separation or isolation. Mr. Sa’adat is entitled to and, in fact, receives regular visits from his family, the last of which was on 4 December 2012,”
Considering that Palestinian parliamentarians have repeatedly requested the Israeli authorities to be allowed to meet Mr. Sa’adat, but that any such requests have been refused on security grounds,

Considering that Israel released 26 long-serving Palestinian prisoners every day on 13 August, 30 October and 30 December 2013, as part of a United States-brokered deal allowing the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; the individuals form the first three of four groups of Palestinian prisoners detained before 1993, totalling 104 individuals, who should be released, as approved by the Israeli Cabinet, at staged intervals within nine months, assuming that progress is made in the negotiations,

  1. Deplores the absence of any indication that, unlike for other Palestinian prisoners, the end of Mr. Sa’adat’s detention is in sight; 

  2. 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 swift release; sincerely hopes that the Israeli authorities will give serious consideration to this call;

  3. Would appreciate receiving, in the meantime, information on his current conditions of detention, in particular as to whether all his children have since been allowed to see him, along with information on the extent to which he has access to medical care;

  4. Regrets that the Israeli authorities have continued to deny fellow Palestinian parliamentarians interested in enquiring about Mr. Sa’adat’s situation an opportunity to see him in prison; sincerely hopes that the Israeli authorities will reconsider their decision; reiterates its own long-standing wish to be granted permission to visit Mr. Sa’adat; sincerely hopes that the authorities will respond favourably and facilitate such a visit;

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

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

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