|THE OBSERVATORY for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders|
October 30, 2007
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Israel.
The Observatory has been informed by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) about the ongoing arbitrary detention of Mr. Mohammad Bsharat, Executive Director of the Nafha Society for the Defence of Prisoners and Human
Rights in Nablus.
According to the information received, on August 26, 2007, the Salem military court ordered that Mr. Mohammad Bsharat be detained administratively for a period of six months. The Observatory recalls that according to the Israeli law, the status of administrative detention denies detainees their basic right to due process. Therefore, the authorities do not have to charge the prisoner, nor to bring him to trial.
Mr. Bsharat is currently being held at the Ketziot Prison in the Negev.
The Observatory expresses its deep concern at the arbitrary detention of Mr. Mohammad Bsharat as it seems to merely aim at
sanctioning his human rights activities. Moreover, the Observatory fears for his physical and psychological integrity, as Mr.
Bsharat suffers from chronic hyper-sensitivity and severe renal spasms as a result of kidney stones and as he is not getting
proper medical attention.
The Observatory urges the Israeli authorities to put an end to any kind of harassment against all human rights defenders in
Israel, as well as to conform with the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General
Assembly on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in
association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms
at the national and international levels”, article 9.3.c which states that “Everyone has the right, individually and in association
with others, to offer and provide professionally qualified legal assistance or other relevant advice and assistance in defending
human rights and fundamental freedoms” and Article 12.1, which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in
association with others, to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms”.
On August 2, 2007, late at night, Israeli soldiers arrested Mr. Mohammad Bsharat without an arrest warrant in Nablus. He was then detained and interrogated at the Huwara detention facility, which is known for its poor conditions of detention. Since then, no charges have been brought against Mr. Bsharat. According to his lawyer, he was questioned about his humanrights activities.
On August 12 and again on August 19, 2007, Mr. Bsharat’s detention was extended.
Legally established and registered with the Palestinian Authority in 2006, Nafha is one of several NGOs representing Palestinian detainees in Israeli courts and advocating on behalf of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention
centres. It also works with released prisoners to help ease them back into daily life and offers prisoners’ families, in particular their children, psychological and social support.
Please write to the authorities in Israel urging them to:
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Mohammad Bsharat;
ii. Release Mr. Mohammad Bsharat since his detention is arbitrary as it merely aims at sanctioning his human
iii. Ensure that he has access to adequate medical treatment;
iv. Put an end to any kind of harassment against all human rights defenders in Israel;
v. Comply with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General
Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular with above-mentioned Articles 1, 9.3.c and 12.1;
vi. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in
accordance with in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international human rights
instruments ratified by Israel.
• Mr. Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister, Office of the Prime Minister, 3 Kaplan Street, PO Box 187, Kiryat Ben-Gurion,
Jerusalem 91919, Israel. Fax: + 972 2 651 2631 / 02-670-5475, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
• Mr. Tzipi Livni, Minister, of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 9 Yitzhak Rabin Boulevard, Kiryat Ben-
Gurion, Jerusalem 91035, Israel. Fax: +972 2 628 7757 / +972 2 628 8618 / + 972-2-5303367. Email:
• Mr. Daniel Friedmann, Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, 29 Salah al-Din Street, Jerusalem 91010, Israel. Fax:
+ 972 2 628 7757 / + 972 2 628 8618 / + 972 2 530 3367. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
• Ambassador Itzhak Levanon, Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations in Geneva, Avenue de la Paix 1-3,
CH-1202, Geneva, Switzerland, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Fax: +41 22 716 05 55
• Ambassador Stefan Gohanneson, Embassy of Israel in Brussels, 40 avenue de l’Observatoire, 1180 Uccle, Belgium,
Fax: + 32 2 373 56 17, Email: email@example.com
Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Israel in your respective country.
Geneva-Paris, October 30, 2007.
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer
them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29
International Federation for Human Rights
17, Passage de la Main d’Or
75 011 Paris, France
World Organisation Against Torture
Case postale 21 - 8 rue du Vieux-Billard
1211 Geneva 8, Switzerland