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High Court Petition: Detained Palestinian minors must receive the right to review process

0 Comments 28 February 2017

PRESS RELEASE | FEBRUARY 28 2017

Petition to the Israel High Court demands detained Palestinian minors receive the right to a review process,  as is standard in Israel and mandatory under international treaties.

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Rabbis for Human Rights, the Public Committee Against Torture, and Physicians for Human Rights – Israel petitioned the High Court of Israel via the law firm of Gaby Lasky and Partners demanding the state introduce a review process for detained Palestinian minors in the West Bank. The High Court ordered the state to respond by April 20 2017.

The petitioners assert that the withholding of these reviews in cases where minors are detained is a violation of their rights, is discriminatory, and is in violation of international treaties.

Yesterday, Monday, February 27 2017, Rabbis for Human Rights, The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and Physicians for Human Rights Israel, through the law firm of Gaby Lasky & Partners, petitioned the High Court of Israel concerning the rights of Palestinian minors in detention. The petition demands a temporary injunction ordering the state to explain why it won’t enact security legislation that allows for the reviews of minors at the discretion of the military court or at the request of the minor; moreover, why hasn’t a network of Arabic speaking social workers been established that will conduct and present the reviews in a timely fashion to the court?

High Court Judge Noam Solberg, ordered the state to respond to the petition by April 20 2017.

The Importance of the Petition:

Minors arrested in Israel are entitled to a review of their detention detailing the personal circumstances of the minor in order to determine if any possible harm was done to him/her by the detainment itself, to assess whether the minor poses any risk or danger, and to establish if any possible alternatives to detention exist. However, in all cases in the West Bank that involve Palestinian minors, this practice is not followed. Without a review process for the detainment, the court will not have the tools required to protect the rights of Palestinian minors and fulfil its legal obligation of only detaining minors as a last resort.

The damage is doubled in light of the reality that exists in the territories where the basic rights of arrested minors may have already been violated before their arraignment. These violations may continue even during their detention when the minors are denied education and rehabilitative services as is the right of minors arrested in Israel.

In addition, the petitioners assert that the lack of reviews  inflicts severe and disproportionate harm to the well-being of the child – a basic principle that guides the authorities when handling Israeli minors.

It should be emphasised that the protection of the rights of minors is an obligation under international law in the West Bank and Israel within the framework of Israel’s obligations as a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966).

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