August 26, 2014 OPINION/NEWS




Maram Salim



It was an easy decision, it took them five minutes to decide, but it took me a lifetime to understand: “He will stay in an Israeli prison under Administrative Detention”. At a blink of an eye our dreams of forming a happy family became dependent on the mercy of the most brutal occupation in the 21st century.

For those who don’t know what an Administrative Detention is, it is the act of arresting individuals by the Israeli state without fair trial, sometimes without trial at all for an unlimited time. They are arrested without any indictment. An administrative detainee is not allowed to see their families or even call them, which meant that  I was not allowed to see my fiancé for I don’t know how long!  Perhaps he will remain under arrest for a week or even two years over nothing!

It is not about my fiancé however, it is about more than 320 prisoners who have been arrested since 2012 in the same way. I’m not going to write a report now, or do any interviews with people who face the same problem, but I want you to see, to feel the sorrow of the detainees’ families, the psychological torture and traumatisation they face on a daily basis. They hope, they pray, they cry, they wish, they dream they would be able to touch the hands of their sons, to kiss their beloved ones, to know if they are fine, if they are sick, if they are cold, and most importantly to know when that melancholy is going to come to an end.

I want to write about all the things you should know regarding this law; maybe it will be a good way to understand how sometimes the world is unfair and cruel. B’Tselem is an Israeli NGO monitoring human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories. They define Administrative Detention as “implemented solely on the basis of an administrative order, without either indictment or trial. Under certain circumstances, this type of detention may be lawful. However, due to the substantial injury to due process inherent in this measure, international law stipulates that it may be exercised only in very exceptional cases – and then only as a last possible resort, when there are no other means available to prevent the danger”, but –and I’m emphasising on “but“- Israel is routinely employing this law, and as B’Tselem assure; thousands of Palestinians have been held in Israeli custody under this law.

One might wonder “What kind of people are detained under this law?” You might be surprised with the inhumanity of this law and the way it is being implemented, but the answer is simple: Israel uses this law to arrest people who aren’t related to military activities, but could arrest ones for their opinions and points of view. This law is also used to arrest people who Israel finds it hard or impossible to prove anything against, among whom are doctors, ministers, and politicians, most of well educated, intellectual, and well known leaders.

But how does it affects the families? I remember a little girl: she was talking about her father as any girl in the world, with pride, love and happiness. She said: “Every six months we wore  our best clothes getting ready to meet him, to feel his arms around us, to kiss him on the cheek and to lay in his lap for the first time, but as usual he doesn’t come, they just decide to take him for another six months”. I first read this when I was ten years old, and after fourteen years; between all that I read, this is the one I remember. How can a girl live without a father that is in jail for no reason? Just imagine.






Maram Salim

Maram Salim is a Palestinan journalist who has been working in the media field since 2010. She is interested in Art, Human Rights and Filmmaking. She has a BA degree in Media and is studying now to get her MA degree in International Studies.

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