Saturday, March 13, 2010

Former detainees affairs minister hospitalized at Negev prison

Bethlehem – Ma'an – The Israeli prison service transferred former Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Affairs Wasfi Qabaha to a hospital in Israel after his high blood pressure and diabetes caused his feet to swell and skin to turn rust-colored, officials said.

The Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights reported the transfer on Saturday, and said Israel would be held accountable for the former minister's health and well being.

Center Director Fuad Al-Khafash said Qabaha's condition suddenly turned critical, and he was rushed to hospital. He has been in administrative detention since 23 May 2007.

Administrative detention is used against Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, based on the 1979 Law of Emergency Powers adopted by the Israeli Knesset. It means Palestinians who have been detained can have the period of their detentions extended without a judicial decision, but rather by an administrative ruling for consecutive periods of up to six months each.

Al-Khafash condemned the abuse of administrative detention, saying three years of successive renewals of the military order was excessive and an abuse of human rights.