Ofer - Administrative Detention, Knives
Translation: Marganit W.
Ahmad Qatamash – twice under administrative detention for 7 years cumulatively- is again under administrative detention
Ahmad Qatamash, a well-known Palestinian writer, was last released from prison on 26.12.13, after seven years of administrative detention. Since his release he has not been involved in political activity.
A few days ago he was arrested and the military commander has issued an order for administrative detention.
His wife Souha and his brother Haled came to court today. Atty. Farah Biadsi asked them to stay: she thought she could bring Qatamash to the courtroom for a few minutes so they could see him. The wife and the brother waited until late afternoon. The wife told us, “We know we won’t see him for a long time, so we’d like to say good bye.”
But it did not work out. It is not clear when they’d be able to see him again.
In Captain Sharon Peretz’s court a hearing took place without an attorney present.
Ahmad Sufan, who looks to be about 70, was also under administrative detention years ago. At least in this case, his wife was able to talk to him for a few minutes. He wanted to know who we were and we said we were there out of solidarity.
The Prosecutor: “I request a 72-hour detention to bring the case before a military commander for the purpose of issuing an administrative detention order.”
Naturally, the judge acceded, saying, “I was convinced that there are arguments for considering an administrative detention.”
All this, as usual, in accordance with the secret file.
The attorneys’ strike continues, disrupting the hearings. Many family members showed up with the hope of seeing their loved ones for a few minutes. Many hearings involved minors. Most cases were postponed because of the strike.
In the yard we encountered the sister and cousin of Dunya Arif Skafi from Hebron. She is a young woman with small children who went to the checkpoint because of abuse in the family. She approached the checkpoint three times, telling the soldier that she had a knife in her purse, but she did not mean to use it; she only wanted to be put in jail. The first two times, the soldier sent her home, the third time he arrested her.
In the hearing a few days ago, the judge ordered her release on a 1000-shekel bail. They were told that the prosecution was going to appeal, so they should wait before posting the bail.
Today, the judge refused to hold a hearing without an attorney, so the family could not see her in court. The sister and cousin who brought the bail money tried repeatedly to plead with the wardens to bring Dunya to court so they could talk to her. We also tried to arrange a short meeting in court, but we were told that she was already on her way back to the prison.
So much heartache!
A similar yet harsher case was brought before Justice Lieut. Col. Shmuel Keidar. The hearing began after the detainee consented to a hearing without representation. Half way through Atty. Farah Biadsi came in, and when she heard the circumstances of the case she took on the defense.
The prosecutor accepted the detainee’s claim that she wanted to get arrested because of domestic problems, but he reminded the court that we were still dealing with a Palestinian who came to the checkpoint with a knife in her bag and, as he put it, “much has been written about the danger of possessing a knife… where do you draw the line?”
The defense requested an evaluation and said she would do her best to arrange for the detainee to stay with other family members after her release on bail.
The judge accepted the motion and ordered release on a 2000-shekel bail. The prosecutor immediately asked for a 72-hour delay. The judge approved of only 24-hours delay.