September 22, 2020
Kiryat Ben Gurion, Building C
Jerusalem 91950, Israel
Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We are writing, again, to express our concern for Dr. Imad Barghouthi, a Palestinian Astrophysicist and Professor at al-Quds University. He has been jailed without charge since his arrest on July 16 at a checkpoint near Jerusalem. This is the third time in six years that Dr. Barghouthi has been arrested, and he has, in the past, been held for months without charge in “administrative detention”.
We last wrote to you about Dr. Barghouthi on August 3. One month later, on September 2, a court ordered that he be released on bail, but this order was overridden by the Israeli military, which instead directed that Dr. Barghouthi be held without charge under “administrative detention” until November 15.
We are concerned about the violation of Barghouthi’s right to a fair legal process. Periods of “administrative detention”, without a charge or trial, are a fundamental violation of one of the most basic of human rights – the right not to be subjected to arbitrary or prolonged detention without charge. This is a right protected under Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which your government signed in 1991.
As we wrote in August, we believe this current detention of Dr. Barghouthi is related to some of his posts on Facebook, which should not be grounds for any kind of legal action. We write asking that you review Dr. Barghouthi’s case and ask that he be released if not charged with a legitimate criminal offense.
We thank you for your attention to this important matter, and look forward to receiving your response.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Minister of Justice
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Jerusalem 91010, Israel
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