Demand the Release of Abdul-Razeq Farraj and an End to Administrative Detention
Many of you may have heard about the Palestinian prisoners' hunger strike, which lasted 40 days and was suspended this past weekend. We are humbled and inspired by the hunger strikers' courage and resistance, as they made many demands relating both to prison conditions and the need for broad structural change, including ending administrative detentions and solitary confinement.
Our ally Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association reports several important agreements that were reached in negotiations this past weekend. At the same time, it is clear that the struggle continues, as Israel's practice of arbitrary detention of Palestinian civilians without charge or trial continues.
One of the most recently arrested Palestinian political prisoners is Abdul-Razeq Farraj. Abdul-Razeq is the Administrative Director of Grassroots International's partner organization the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. He was arrested by Israeli forces at midnight on May 24, in front of his family, and brought to an Israeli jail where he is being held under administrative detention. This is not the first time – in total, Abdul-Razeq has spent 16 years of his life in Israeli jails, most of that time under administrative detention, with no charges against him.
We're asking you to take action below to demand immediate release of Abdul-Razeq and an end to all administrative detentions.
The Israeli government routinely employs the use of administrative detention -- arrest by the state without trial or cause for extended periods of time -- when holding Palestinians. In 2016, Israeli officials held over 600 Palestinians in administrative detention. International law stipulates that administrative detentions may be used in only very exceptional cases and as a last possible resort, yet the Israeli authorities routinely employ this practice against Palestinians.
After his last arrest in April 2014, many of you responded to a Grassroots International online action to demand Abdul-Razeq’s release. We breathed a sigh of relief when he was released in 2016, after 20 months in jail. At the time, he shared this message with us:
"I express my deepest gratitude for the support you extended to me during the period I was in Israeli prison… Your support proves that Palestinian prisoners have real supporters in the United States. It was a source of strength, optimism and hope for me… Myself and all administrative detainees in Israeli prisons are convinced that you and all the people of conscience will continue supporting the right to freedom of Palestinian prisoners and all the Palestinian people against Israeli occupation."
We are deeply saddened by the news that Israeli forces have once again imprisoned Abdul-Razeq. His words inspire us to continue raising awareness and pressure to demand not only his release, but also an end to administrative detention and the Israeli occupation as a whole.
Grassroots International has supported Palestinian human rights for decades and remains committed to justice and fair treatment for all. You can make a difference today by sending a letter to the Israeli Consulate, Israeli and US Embassies and the Military Advocate General of the Israeli Defense Forces to demand Abdul-Razeq’s immediate release.
If you live in the United States, please take action using this page where you will also contact US decisionmakers. Thank you!