The Arab Group for Development & National Empowerment based in Geneva called on chairs and members of parliaments all over the world to take action and support the Palestinian MPs detained in Israeli prisons, by pressuring Israeli authorities to set Palestinian members of parliament free.
The foundation also called on the halt of harassment against MPs and protecting them from the arbitrary arrest, in addition to retaining their political position and parliamentary impunity.
The Arab Group in a press release said that the recent Israeli imprisonment of two Palestinians MPs was unlawful and a flagrant violation to the international law, human rights and democratic values. Statement also stressed that the arbitrary arrests was a serious prejudice against the parliamentary impunity that they obtain according to signed international agreements under international patronage. This calls for the urgent action and successive pressures upon Israel to oblige it to bind to international law and human rights conventions.
Arab Group added that Israeli occupation authorities during the recent few years have conducted the arbitrary arrest of more than 65 Palestinian MPs and ex-ministers. About 16 MPs are still in prison, in addition to two ex-ministers.
10 of the imprisoned MPs were arbitrarily arrested with no charge or court hearing, 5 MPs are serving different duration of confinement and one MP is suspended and currently awaits court.
8 of them were detained after the abduction of three Israeli settlers in 12 June 2014, and 8 others were detained before.
In the same context, the chairman of the Arab Group Mohammed Yehia Shamiyya condemned the arbitrary actions against MPs, and the cruel circumstances and physical violations taken against them during the imprisonment. Shamiyya pointed out the urgent need to set them free and give credit to their impunity as representatives of the Palestinian people, stressing the need to release them without any conditions or harassment.
Shamiyya also called on letting the exiled MPs back to their homes and offices in occupied Jerusalem, and cancelling their exile notices, which form collective punishment against them and their families, since they are constantly threatened by ID withdrawal for their non-violent activities and political affiliation.
Arab Group vowed to keep this file open on an international level, and to put the spotlight on this crime until it’s closed.
The list of Palestinian MPs in Israeli prisons is the following:
MP Dr. Aziz Dweik: Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council
MP Marwan Barghouthi: Member of PLO central committee
MP Ahmed Saadat: Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
MP Hassan Youssif
MP Haten Qafisha who holds record for MP longest arbitrary imprisonment (134 months)
MP Abdel Jabbar Fuqaha
MP Mohammed Abu Tair
MP Nizar Ramadan
MP Mohammed Bader
MP Abdel Rahman Zeidan
MP Husni Bourini
MP Azzam Salhab
MP Riad Raddad
MP Nayef Rjoub
MP Bassem Zaareer
MP Mohammed Natsheh