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Israel detains Islamic Jihad leader without charge or trial

May 16, 2011 7:47 P.M. (Updated: May 17, 2011 6:06 P.M.)
JENIN (Ma'an) -- Israeli military authorities on Monday sentenced an Islamic Jihad leader to six months in prison without charge or trial, a detainees' center said.

Sheikh Bassam Al-Sadi will be held at Ofer military prison near Ramallah under administrative detention, the center said.

Al-Sadi was detained immediately after Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo, the center noted, adding that he was detained only two months after finishing an 8-year sentence in Israeli prisons.

The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem has recorded thousands of cases of administrative detention in which Palestinians have been detained "for prolonged periods of time, without prosecuting them, without informing them of the charges against them, and without allowing them or their attorneys to study the evidence."

Israeli military officials can hold detainees in administrative detention for up to six months, but the term is indefinitely renewable.

Detainees can spend years in Israeli prisons without ever knowing what they are accused of. Their lawyers are not told what the charges are, undermining their ability to defend their clients.

"In practice, Israel breaches international law, while misusing the powers given to military commanders in the Administrative Detention Order," B'Tselem says.
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