UN Panel Urges Israel to Stop Jailing Palestinians Without Trial

'Prisoners should have the right to know what they are accused of,’ say committee members calling for end to administrative detention.

A Palestinian detainee.
A Palestinian detainee. Eyal Warshawski

Members of a United Nations committee Thursday urged Israel to end the practice of administrative detention and heed the “desperate plea” of prisoners to be told what they are accused of so they can mount a defense.

“It is a desperate plea by these detainees to be afforded a very basic standard of due process: to know what they are accused of and to be able to defend themselves,” said the UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, in a press release.

Some 120 Palestinians jailed without trial in Israel have been on an open-ended hunger strike, eating only salt and drinking water, since April 24 to demand an end to administrative detention.

The plea came on the same day that Palestinians marked Naksa Day, the 47th anniversary of the Six Day War, with protests that led to arrests of several demonstrators.