Lawyer arrested, held incommunicado by Palestinian Military Intelligence

April 4, 2001

On 24 March 2001, the Palestinian Military Intelligence arrested lawyer Nasir Al Rifa’ee at a court in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Al Rafa’ee, from the village of Anata near Jerusalem, was then taken to the Ramallah Military Intelligence headquarters for interrogation, where he remains. Since his arrest, he has been held incommunicado, with no access to legal counsel or his family. LAW’s lawyers have attempted to visit Nasir Al Rafa’ee on three consecutive days (31st March to 2nd April 2001) but were denied access to the detainee each time. On 1 April 2001, LAW filed a complaint with Colonel Musa Arafat, the head of the Military Intelligence, arguing that Al Rafa’ee’s arrest and detention were illegal and in contravention of international human rights standards. A similar complaint was submitted to Col. Ismail Jabir, the head of Palestinian National Security, which is supposed to have oversight of all Palestinian security services. To date LAW has received no reply from either body. The law applicable in the West Bank does not authorise the Military Intelligence to arrest civilians who are not members of the security services. The arrest of Nasir Al Rafa’ee is therefore illegal. Regarding incommunicado detention, Principle 7 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers provides that “all persons arrested or detained, with or without criminal charge, shall have prompt access to a lawyer, and in any case not later than forty-eight hours from the time of arrest or detention.” LAW demands the immediate release of attorney Nasir Al Rafee. While he remains in detention, LAW seeks assurances that Al Rafee is treated humanely and given access to legal counsel and his family, as well as to adequate medical treatment. Nasir Al Rafee suffers from a stomach ulcer and spinal problems. LAW is concerned about the illegal arrest and detention of Nasir Al Rafee and calls on the Palestinian Attorney General and the Palestinian Bar Association to intervene on his behalf.

LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving human rights through legal advocacy. LAW is affiliate to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Fédération Internationale des Ligues de Droits de l'Homme (FIDH), World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Member of the Euro- Mediterranean Human Rights Network.

Rapporti di LAW - The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights

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