Israeli authorities should stop harassing members of a Palestinian prisoners’ rights group. Israeli authorities should immediately lift a travel ban on the group’s chairman and release a recently arrested researcher, or present evidence justifying the measures against them., Human Rights Watch said on Friday.
In August and September 2012, Israeli authorities issued orders prohibiting Abdullatif Ghaith, chairman of the board of the group, Addameer, from traveling abroad as well as from East Jerusalem, where he lives, to the rest of the West Bank, where the organization’s offices are located. On October 15, Israeli forces raided the West Bank home of Ayman Nasser, a researcher for the group, arrested him and questioned him about radio interviews he gave about prisoners and his membership in a youth organization.
At military court hearings on October 18 and 24, military judges extended his detention on the basis of evidence he was not allowed to see. The Israeli military has not charged either man with wrongdoing or allowed them to see any evidence against them. Addameer adds that the last time Nasser's detention was extended for nine more days. It also said that the main focus of his interrogation continues to be his civic activities relating to his role in advocating for the rights of Palestinian political prisoners and his involvement in the Handala Center, which is an educational, artistic center in Ayman’s village Saffa and of which Ayman is the Chairperson.
“It’s deeply ironic that Israel is arbitrarily detaining a researcher who has documented arbitrary detention, and violating the rights of the head of a human rights group,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Israel should provide valid justifications for its measures against Nasser and Ghaith or drop those measures immediately.”
Addameer itself adds that it is extremely concerned for Ayman’s health as he continues to be denied the appropriate medication. As previously reported Ayman suffers from a number of health issues including inflammation in his colon and back pain. Until his arrest he was receiving constant medical treatment by specialized doctors.