Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Hana Shalabi’s Deportation to Gaza is a Violation

Wednesday, 04 April 2012 Palestine News Network

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the deportation of a Palestinian detainee, Hana Shalabi, by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) to the Gaza Strip on Sunday, 01 April 2012, under a deal whose details have not been unveiled. According to reports about the deal, Shalabi would stay in Gaza for three years, and then return to her home in Jenin, in exchange for ending her hunger strike which had lasted for 44 consecutive days.

PCHR believes that the decision to deport Shalabi to Gaza amounts to a forcible deportation, and reminds that deportation of protected persons is prohibited under Article 49 of the Geneva Convention Relative of the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention).

Once she arrived in Gaza, Shalabi was transported to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, and was admitted into the intensive care unit, as her health condition deteriorated consequent to 44 days of hunger strike.

According to representatives of human rights organizations who had visited Shalabi in Hasharon Prison in the north of Israel, where she was detained, her health condition deteriorated and she suffered from pains throughout the body.

IOF arrested Hana Yahia Saber Shalabi, 30, from Bouqin Village near Jenin in the northern West Bank, from her house on 16 February 2012.

She was detained in Hasharon Prison, and was placed under administrative detention for 6 months. She had declared an open hunger strike in protest to re-arresting her by IOF, as she had been released in October 2011 in the context of the prisoners swap between the Palestinian resistance and IOF, after serving two years under administrative detention.

Shalabi's case highlights the conditions of more than 300 Palestinians who are currently placed under administrative detention in Israeli prisons and detention facilities, including the Speaker and 20 Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. These actions are in violation of the right of a detainee to fair trial, including the right to receive appropriate defense and to be informed of charges against him.

Administrative detention is applied by an administrative order only without referring to a court. It is applied under strictly confidential procedures that deprive a detainee and his/her attorney of knowing the charges or evidence against him/her, thus violating their right to provide adequate defense, in violation of the standards of a fair trial.

PCHR expresses utmost concern over the policy of forcible deportation practiced by IOF against Palestinian civilians. PCHR reminds of similar cases that took place recently, including the deportation of 40 Palestinian prisoners to other countries, and 163 others to the Gaza Strip in the context of the prisoners swap deal between Palestinian resistance groups and IOF, under which 1,027 Palestinian prisoners were released, in exchange for the release of an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who had been captured by Palestinian resistance groups.

PCHR condemns the deportation of Shalabi by IOF to the Gaza Strip against her will, and:

1. Stresses that forcible deportation if a form of collective punishment and reprisals prohibited under the Fourth Geneva Convention, particularly Article 49 which prohibits "individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to

that of any other country, occupied or not;"

2. Calls for allowing Hana Shalabi and other Palestinian deportees to return to their homes.

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