Ofer - Administrative Detention, Membership/activity in unauthorized association
Translation: Marganit W.
“Tell them that next time we’ll allow only two to attend”
Thus said Lieut. Col. Menahem Lieberman at the hearing of Bian Faroun.
Bian, a student at Beir-Zeit University, has been detained since 11.3.17. She was arrested with two other students. She was interrogated extensively at the Russian Compound and was barred from seeing counsel.
She is accused of ties to Hamas.
Atty. André Rosenthal, who represents her, reported that he is negotiating with the prosecution and asked for a postponement.
The next hearing is set for 1.11.17.
Bian’ mother is dead and her father is blind. At the previous hearing Atty. Rosenthal asked to allow a distant relative to accompany the blind father on his visit to his daughter at Damon Prison. In the meantime we found out (through Women for Political Prisoners) that the father had been able to visit Bian with the help of the husband of Sabah Faroun who has been under administrative detention at Damon for almost a year.
(Remember: administrative detention is detention without indictment.)
Ten years ago, Bian’s brother was in prison for two years; this is why he cannot obtain a permit to visit her. Her sister is pregnant and has difficulty getting to Damon.
For all Palestinians, the court hearings offer an opportunity to see their loved ones and to exchange words without a partition, albeit at a distance. Today, more than two people came to Bian’s hearing: her brother, a close friend, her sister and an elderly female relative. This did not sit well with the judge. Atty. Rosenthal explained about the brother and the permit and the judge relented. “But only this time!”
It’s not because there is no room in the court: Judge Lieberman’s courtroom is spacious with many chairs (unlike other halls where there are only a few chairs). But law and order have to be maintained.
It was both pleasant and painful to meet so many familiar faces. One man we had met last week told us “Now I have two sons in jail.”
A woman from Ramallah reminded me that I had attended the remand extension hearing of her underage son. He’s been in jail for 40 days and today is the hearing.
I saw many acquaintances from Beit Ummar where the army conducts raids and arrests on a nightly basis. The question is always posed to us: “Can you help?” We have to say, “No. What can we offer is listening and solidarity.”