UN experts condemn Israel’s ‘sadistic’ punitive measures against French-Palestinian rights defender Salah Hammouri

GENEVA (19 October 2022) — UN independent experts have called on Israel to immediately release Salah Hammouri, an arbitrarily detained French-Palestinian human rights defender and lawyer, who has just ended a 19 day hunger strike in objection to the systematic policy of administrative detention.

“We are concerned by Israel’s pervasive misuse of administrative and criminal law proceedings and use of secret information against Palestinians, including human rights defenders such as Mr. Hammouri. This is a deliberate measure designed to silence human rights defenders, which has a profound chilling effect on all Palestinian and Israeli civil society actors”

The experts said Israeli authorities have targeted Mr. Hammouri during the past 20 years with harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention, and other forms of abuse. Acts of retaliation against him intensified after he became a human rights defender and lawyer defending and advocating for prisoners’ rights with Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, one of the six Palestinian civil society organisations that Israel has designated as “terrorist”. Most recently, he has been placed under administrative detention since 7 March 2022, without charge or trial, based on “secret information”.