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Israel renews administrative detention of activist, journalist Hassan Safadi

June 8, 2017 5:17 P.M. (Updated: June 8, 2017 8:22 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities renewed the administrative detention -- internment without charge or trial -- of Hassan Safadi, a Palestinian activist and media coordinator for prisoners’ rights group Addameer, for an additional six months on Thursday, according to a statement by Addameer.

Safadi has been held by Israel since May 1, 2016 after being detained at the Allenby Bridge between the occupied West Bank and Jordan, when he was interrogated by the Israeli army for 40 days.

Israeli authorities later sentenced the 25-year-old Palestinian to six months of administrative detention, on the same day that his parents paid a 2,500-shekel ($650) bail for his release.

Israeli authorities have renewed Safadi’s administrative detention order twice since it was initially ordered in June 2016 -- once on Dec. 8, 2016, and a second time on Thursday.

“Addameer strongly condemns the continued detention of Safadi, which is part of the continued attack on Palestinian journalists and media activists, some of whom are held under administrative detention without charge or trial,” the group said.

In December, Amnesty International condemned Safadi’s detention and demanded his release, along with the 490 other Palestinians also held without charge or trial in Israeli prisons, “unless they are to be charged with recognizable criminal offences and tried fairly and promptly.”

The statement added that Israeli authorities must “end their long-standing attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders and halt the harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.”

Amnesty also urged for an investigation into Safadi’s allegations that he was subjected to sleep deprivation and “stress positions” during his interrogation -- amounting to torture -- as well as denied access to a lawyer for the first 10 days of his detention.

Israel’s widely condemned policy of administrative detention allows internment without charge or trial in maximum six-month long renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is barred from viewing.

Rights groups have claimed that Israel's detention policy has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.
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