A prominent Palestinian leftist lawmaker who was imprisoned in Israel without trial was released on Thursday, February 28, after serving 20 months in administrative detention. Khalida Jarrar, a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was arrested on July 2, 2017 and was the 11th member of the Palestinian parliament serving time in prison, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club.
In response to Jarrar’s release, Communist Israeli lawmaker MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash) posted on Twitter: “After 20 months in administrative detention, without trial, the Palestinian member of parliament Khalida Jarrar is free.” She added: “It’s no wonder that people who hold values of peace, justice, freedom, and national liberation are a ‘threat’ to those who want to see the conflict as religious, racial, violent, and unending.”
Details of the accusations against Jarrar her are classified, as is customary with Israel’s so-called “administrative detention” orders, which allow detention without trial for renewable six-month periods. The Addameer rights group says around 6,150 Palestinians are currently in Israeli jails, including around 495 in administrative detention. Before her latest arrest and imprisonment, Jarrar headed the prisoners committee in the Palestinian Legislative Council and was a prominent activist in the legal defense of Palestinian prisoners’ rights in the community.
With Jarrar’s release, Addameer reiterated its call to “all actors in the international community and human rights organizations to intensify their efforts in pressuring the Israeli occupation authorities to end the policy of administrative detention, which constitutes a violation of the principles of fair trial. In addition, Addameer called to release all administrative detainees, including the female detainee Fida Daamas, and to end the systematic repression of Palestinian human rights defenders and to ensure respect for their rights, enshrined under international law.”