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NGO demands state allow legal representation to Gaza detainees
By YONAH JEREMY BOB
07/28/2014
Arab minority rights organization threatens to file a petition to the High Court of Justice if the Justice Ministry does not comply.
 
An NGO on Sunday demanded that the Justice Ministry publicize the names and locations of those Gazan Palestinians detained by the IDF during Operation Protective Edge as well as to permit lawyers to meet with them.

The NGO, Adalah-The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, threatened to file a petition to the High Court of Justice by Sunday afternoon if the ministry did not comply.

At press time, the ministry had neither complied nor confirmed whether it had received the letter.

Likewise, Adalah had neither filed a petition nor decided if it would file one and when, despite the earlier threat.

The IDF itself has confirmed arresting several hundred Palestinians, although there are reports that the majority of them have been released.

Adalah’s statement said that the detainees had been moved into Israel into a prison in the South while they were mostly naked other than wearing underpants.

The NGO noted that other human rights groups and family members had already tried numerous attempts to contact the IDF for information and to arrange lawyers’ visits, but that they had not received responses.

Adalah said immediate legal representation was necessary to ensure due process and proper prison conditions.

It said that the delayed response and lack of legal representation raised serious concerns about the treatment of the detainees, noting that alone, they were “powerless” to defend their own legal rights.

There are circumstances where the law allows delaying legal representation for interrogating security detainees, but the law and some of its repercussions are controversial.
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