Despite Demonstration at Hearing, Mousa Abu Maria’s Appeal Denied

3 June 2008

Last Thursday Mousa Abu Maria had an approximately 10 minute-long hearing on the appeal of his administrative detention. Just before his hearing began, 10 Israeli and international activists held a short, loud demonstration just outside the fence of the prison, where the hearing was being held. Banging drums and chanting in Arabic to free all prisoners, the activists were quickly converged upon by the security officers at the prison. They then demanded to see the video and still photography that was taken, though none of the footage or pictures were lost. The lawyer reported that the demonstration was heard very well and Mousa was pleased to know that supporters had come down to the prison in the middle of the Negev desert to show their solidarity with him and all Palestinian prisoners.
Today, however, the hearing officer rejected his appeal without answering the main arguments of the defense, namely that administrative detention is not supposed to be used unless criminal charges are attempted and documentation was not provided to the defense as required. Recently the Israeli Supreme Court made a ruling on a similar case involving a political prisoner in administrative detention, however the decision itself, along with all other information involved in the case, was sealed, so no immediate information is known. It is still being decided whether Mousa’s case will be pursued in the Supreme Court.