Palestinian prisoner Nael Barghouthi, 59 has been imprisoned for 36 years in Israeli jails, and he is the longest-held Palestinian political prisoner. Today, on the basis of so-called “secret evidence,” he is threatened with the re-imposition of life imprisonment with no charges and no legitimate trial.
Along with over 1,000 fellow prisoners, he was released in 2011 as part of the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange. While he married after his release and returned to his life, in 2014, he was swept up with other former prisoners in a series of arrests. Under Israeli military order 1651 – violating the release agreement – re-arrested prisoners can have their former sentences reimposed upon them by a military committee on the basis of secret evidence. This secret evidence is denied to both the prisoner and their lawyer.
Even with this secret evidence, Nael Barghouthi was ordered to 30 months in prison, a sentence that ended in mid-December. He has remained in prison due to an appeal by the military prosecution, seeking the re-imposition of a life sentence on the basis of so-called secret evidence. Barghouthi continues to be denied visits from his wife, Iman Nafie, as she is also a former political prisoner in Israeli jails.
The next hearing in his case will take place on 3 January and his case will continue to the highest levels. Iman Nafie has pledged to pursue this case in all legal venues to demand freedom for her husband.
Military Judge Advocate General
Brigadier General Sharon Afek
Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel
Fax: +972 3 569 4526
Salutation: Dear Judge Advocate General
Commander of the IOF – West Bank
Major-General Roni Numa
GOC Central Command
Military Post 01149, Battalion 877
Israel Defense Forces, Israel
Fax: +972 2 530 5741, +972 2 530 5724
Salutation: Dear Major-General Roni Numa
I write today to demand immediate release of the longest-held Palestinian prisoner Nael Barghouthi, held for a total of 36 years in Israeli prisons. Nael Barghouthi is being threatened with the re-imposition of his life sentence on the basis of so-called “secret evidence” by an arbitrary Israeli military committee.
Nael Barghouthi was released with over 1,000 prisoners in the 2011 Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange. In 2014, along with dozens of fellow released prisoners, Barghouthi was re-arrested. Under Israeli military order 1651 – that contravenes the term of the prisoner release – re-arrested prisoners can have their former sentences reimposed upon them by a military committee on the basis of secret evidence.
Barghouthi was originally sentenced to 30 months on the basis of secret evidence, yet the Israeli military continues to pursue him and seek the re-imposition of his life sentence. He has also been denied family visits with his wife on the pretext of “security” as she is a former prisoner.
I demand the immediate release of Nael Barghouthi and an end to the re-imposition of former prisoners’ sentences on the basis of so-called secret information. This is an attempt to use Palestinian former prisoners as political hostages in future prisoner exchanges and to violate the exchange agreement itself. His continued detention is arbitrary and unjust, and I demand his immediate freedom.