News from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights on October 26, 2020. This is very good news. My earlier post about Rami Aman and his incarceration in Gaza. https://loralucero.wordpress.com/2020/09/22/freeramiaman/
Released with Time Served
On Monday, 26 October 2020, the Permanent Military Court in Gaza issued a decision to release 3 persons detained on grounds of “peace activism” and sufficed with time served after their charged were changed to “weakening revolutionary spirit,” as per Article 164 of the PLO Revolutionary Penal Law of 1979.
The Court convicted the detainees of the charges pressed against them in the indictment and sentenced Rami Eyas Helmi Aman (39) to a year in prison, including time served; however, the sentence was suspended as per Article 284 of the Criminal Procedures Law No.(3)/2001. Meanwhile, the Court sufficed with time served for the other two detainees as per Article 118 of the PLO Revolutionary Penal Law of 1979.
As their legal representative, PCHR has followed the case since the onset of their arrest more than six months ago on 09 April 2020, up to today’s court session where the Court decided to release all three of them. PCHR lawyers attended each one of the Court sessions, including today’s sentencing session; during which, PCHR lawyer argued that there is no legal or factual basis for a conviction as evidenced in interrogation minutes, affidavits and the detainees’ own testimonies before the Court. Our lawyer asserted that the charges lacked both factual and moral elements of the crime to permit a conviction based on the pressed charges; thus, the Court released them.
The security services in Gaza detained Aman, and seven of his colleagues including one girl, were for holding a Zoom meeting with peace activists from across the globe, including Israelis. A few days later, 5 persons were released while three remained under custody and were charged with recruiting self or others for the benefit of the enemy under Article 153 of the PLO Revolutionary Penal Law of 1979. On 23 July 2020, the girl was released on bail while the two other activists were kept in custody
On 04 May 2020, PCHR lawyer appealed for a release on bail for the detainees, which was rejected by the Military Prosecution two months later under the pretext that investigations are still ongoing. On 17 September 2020, their charges were changed to “weakening revolutionary spirit,” and Aman and his colleague were transferred to Ansar Central Prison awaiting trial on this charge; meanwhile, the girl was awaiting trail outside prison.
PCHR reiterates its demand for immediate cessation of prosecuting civilians before military courts under any circumstances, as it violates the simplest principles of justice and the Palestinian Basic Law of 2003, as well as Palestine’s international obligations.
PCHR stresses that bringing civilians before the military courts is clear violation of the Palestinian Basic Law, especially Article (30):
“Litigation is a protected and guaranteed right to all people. Each Palestinian shall have the right to find sanctuary in the legal system.”
Lastly, PCHR also stresses that the 1979 Revolutionary Penal Code is unconstitutional and illegal, this Code was not issued by a legislative authority responsible for legislation in the PA and its application has been critiqued by PCHR for more than two decades.