West Bank and Gaza
Respected Chairman and Members of the Central Elections Committee
Subject: Procedures that turn the exercise of the right to elections into a crime
MUSAWA - The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession, greets you, stating that it has obtained a copy of a request to extend the detention for a period of fifteen days issued by the head of the Yatta Public Prosecution, which was submitted to the judge of the Yatta Magistrate’s Court pursuant to an investigation case No. 387/2021, against the citizen A.A., 28 years old, resident of Deir al-Hawa - Yatta. According to the aforementioned request, the citizen was arrested by the Preventive Security in Hebron, who referred him to the District Prosecution Office in Yatta, which in turn referred him to the court, requesting his detention for an additional fifteen days on the basis of an allegation that the investigations of the Preventive Security indicated that he received 600 shekels from the Future List for campaigning for the list in Yatta. MUSAWA learned that the judge responded to the prosecutor’s request and decided to extend his detention for five days for the purpose of completing the investigation.
MUSAWA learned from specialized sources that the arrest of the aforementioned citizen is the third of its kind witnessed recently in the northern governorates.
We, MUSAWA - The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession, see the arrest procedures for A.A., and other citizens before him, as a grave violation of the Basic Law, and infringing on the basic rights of the Palestinian citizen, starting with his right to physical integrity and freedom of movement, passing through his right to participate in the public life, which considers the right to participate in the electoral process by election, nomination and electioneering as an integral part of it, up to the right to guarantees of a fair trial, and to enjoy what the law requires of the judiciary and the public prosecution to protect rights and freedoms. It is also an expression of the approach of exclusivity, exclusion, domination and tyranny, as well as prejudice to the status and the reputation of your esteemed committee, which has a general mandate to ensure the success of the electoral process with all its components, starting with the general environment and ending with the announcement of the results, not to mention what such measures represent as a blatant deviation from the so-called “rights and freedoms” decree.
Since preserving the general environment that guarantees free and fair elections is the first task of your esteemed committee, we look forward to you taking the appropriate legal requirement to compel the security services and other government institutions to immediately stop taking such measures, with the need to ensure the release of the citizen A.A. in observance of what Competent authorities pledged to MUSAWA, and to address the executive authority, especially the Prime Minister in his capacity as Minister of Interior and the Presidential Bureau, to conduct administrative investigations and duly hold those who made the decision to arrest accountable.
We see in these arrest procedures an example of the approach of silencing mouths and underestimating the right to freedom and dealing with arrest and detention of freedom lightly and with a grave breach of the duty to protect rights and freedoms, especially since MUSAWA received complaints indicating the return of the phenomenon of torture in arrest and detention centers, and even recorded its manifestations in minutes with that not precluding the court’s approval of the Public Prosecution’s summons to extend the detention for a period of fifteen days, and in several cases without providing the court with evidence and justifications that support or justify the Public Prosecution’s request, with only referring the detainee subjected to torture to a doctor?! In light of a serious breach of the provisions and dictates of the Code of Criminal Procedure, especially in the so-called mandate of the District Prosecution Office in Jericho to investigate citizens who were arrested outside its local jurisdiction.
Issues on: 30/05/2021
• A copy of the request to extend the detention