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Israel: UN experts renew their concerns about the continued detention of a young Palestinian man amid reports of his deteriorating health

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News briefing

Translated and edited by: Committee for Justice

Geneva: 3 April 2022

UN experts renewed their fears of the Israeli authorities’ arbitrary detention of the Palestinian youth, Amal Nakhleh, amid reports of his deteriorating health and the continuation of violations against him.

Renewed administrative detention without reason:

In a memorandum sent on February 1, 2022 to the Israeli authorities, which has not yet been answered, the UN experts said that since January 21, 2021, after the Israeli forces’ arrest of Nakhla and the issuance of the military commander in the West Bank of a six-month administrative detention order against him, without charge or trial, with the possibility of indefinite renewal, Nakhleh’s administrative detention has been renewed on several occasions without giving reasons.

The experts pointed out that Nakhleh suffers from a severe autoimmune disease, called myasthenia gravis- a neuromuscular disorder that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles, requiring treatment and constant medical monitoring. During his detention, his medication doses were cut in half without completing the medical blood tests needed to adjust the medication for this serious disease. He also underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his chest, and has since been suffering from shortness of breath and headaches.

The experts added that on January 25, 2022, Nakhleh tested positive for Covid-19 in Ofer Prison, which represented an additional threat to his life.

Increase in administrative detention orders:

The experts expressed grave concern about the arbitrary detention of Amal Nakhleh, as well as allegations regarding his current conditions of detention, and of particular concern the fact that his detention, which is based on secret evidence that neither he nor his lawyer has access to, poses an additional serious risk to his life given his chronic health condition which requires continuous medical treatment, as well as his Covid-19.

In their note, the experts also addressed the significant increase in the issuance and confirmation of administrative detention orders by the Israeli authorities last year. In 2021, 1,595 administrative detention orders were reported to have been issued against Palestinians, and as of December 31, 2021, 500 Palestinians were in administrative detention without being charged.

International demands from the Israeli authorities:

The experts called on the Israeli authorities to provide information on the legal and factual bases for the arrest and detention of Amal Nakhleh, the reasons for his prolonged administrative detention, how they justify his 16-month administrative detention, and how his detention fulfills due process guarantees.

The experts also called on the Israeli authorities to provide information regarding Amal Nakhleh’s current health condition, as well as information on the steps that have been taken to ensure that he receives adequate medical care for his chronic health condition, as well as his current infection with Covid-19, including access to a hospital, specialist and appropriate medications.

The experts also requested detailed information on the measures taken by the Israeli authorities to ensure that the legal and procedural safeguards for Amal Nakhleh are respected, as well as the measures taken to protect his physical and moral integrity while in detention.

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