|[ 28/10/2011 - 09:55 PM ]|
JENIN, (PIC)-- The Zionist military court in Salem refused to release Muna Qaadan (39), from Arraba in Jenin district, on bail despite the fact that she was brought before court previously on the same charges.
Local sources said that the occupation authorities refused to release despite the fact that she denied the charge that she works for a charity, which is allegedly associated with the Islamic Jihad, in reference to Bara'a Society for Muslim Young Women. This is the same charge she was arrested on previously and then released.
Qaadan has been arbitrarily arrested since the end of last May, only days after the arrest of her brother Sheikh Tareq Qaadan from their home in Arraba.
Army raises age of minority in military-justice system in West Bank to 18, same as in Israel, but fails to make other necessary changes to protect minors
On 27 September 2011, OC Central Command signed Amendment 10 to the Order Regarding Security Provisions. The amendment changes provisions relating to minors in the military-justice system, which applies to Palestinians in the West Bank. Israelis living in the West Bank are prosecuted according to Israeli penal law.
The amendment raises the age of minority from 16 to 18. B'Tselem welcomes this amendment, which aptly conforms the age of minority in the West Bank to the customary age around the world, including in Israel. However, it does not deal with the grave infringement of Palestinian minors’ rights, as Israeli authorities have not, thus far, respected the rights of Palestinians under the age of 16. B'Tselem’s report No Minor Matter revealed how the authorities breach the rights of Palestinian minors suspected of stone- throwing at all stages of the process: arrest, interrogation, trial, and imprisonment.
- Involvement of parents: The obligation to notify parents, without delay, that their child has been arrested existed in the pre-amendment legislation. The amendment slightly expanded the requirement to include the giving of immediate notice to parents with respect to both arrest and interrogation of their child. However, the amendment contains several qualifications that enable those responsible to refrain from such notification. First, if the minor does not provide details on his parents, the authorities are not obligated obtain the details. Second, the amendment requires the authorities only to make a “reasonable effort under the circumstances” to locate the parents, but fails to define the expression “reasonable effort.” A third exception arises where there is a “reasonable suspicion” that notice will obstruct the interrogation or “harm the security of the region.” The order does not interpret these expressions, thus giving the interrogators great discretion.
- Caution and right to consult: The amendment requires the authorities to inform minors who have been arrested of their right to consult with an attorney in private. However, the amendment does not properly guarantee realization of the right: it only requires the interrogator to inform the minor’s attorney about the interrogation, and specifies that the giving of notice will not delay the interrogation. In addition, the interrogator must give notice to “a defense attorney whose particulars were provided by the minor,” although it is unlikely that a minor under arrest will be in possession of an attorney's contact details.
- Statute of limitations: Under the pre-existing legislation, a minor could not be prosecuted for an offense if two or more years had passed since commission of the offense. The amendment reduces the period to one year, except as regards a long list of offenses that are defined security offenses, such as causing death, assault, stone-throwing, organizing and participating in demonstrations, disturbing a soldier in the performance of his duties, and throwing a burning object. In effect, the amendment will not apply to most minors accused of committing what are classified as security offenses.
- Holding minors with adults in detention and in prison: Holding minors with adults in detention and in prison: The amendment contains an exception to the sweeping prohibition on holding minors with adults, and states that minors over age 16 may be kept with adults, provided that doing so benefi44LRL9w4DDRJ5pRmSOJ; preferredOpdo not have access to minors during sleeping hours. There is no explanation why minors above age 16 are allowed to be held with adults, the age of minority now having been raised to 18. Holding minors and adults together is problematic. As a judge of the Youth Military Court in Judea, Major Sharon Rivlin-Ahai, said regarding incarceration of 16 and 17 year olds with adults: “It is unnecessary to go into detail on the damage such incarceration can cause a minor later in life” (Mil. Ct. (Judea) 1261/09, Military Prosecutor v. H.P., 23 February 2009).