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Walid Hanatsheh: Palestinian Prisoner of Conscience

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Walid Hanatsheh: Palestinian Prisoner of Conscience


Hanatsheh should be honored, not imprisoned.

by Stephen Lendman

The Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association calls Hanatsheh "a human rights defender who is currently in administrative detention."

As Health Work Committees (HWC) Finance and Administration Manager, he helped "provide necessary healthcare to over 500,000" Palestinians.

In 1994, he was detained, interrogated for 30 days, then released. In June 2002, he was arrested for being in Jerusalem "illegally." His wife's a Jerusalemite. Arrest for "illegal presence" became an administrative detention ordeal. At issue is his humanitarian activism and alleged connection to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). As a result, he was held for three and a half years.

Military commanders sign detentions. Military judges review them. Military court of appeals proceedings may follow. High Court of Justice ones may be requested. Up to six months can be ordered, subject to limitless extensions. 

After two years imprisoned, military judges had reservations. In October 2004, Hanatsheh's extension was upheld, subject to possible alternatives.

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