Security Prisoner
Security Detainee
Administrative Detainee
Total
17.10.2007

Lebanese prisoner represented by HaMoked was released on 15 October, 2007, following a deal between Israel and Hizbullah: The prisoner, who has a documented history of psychiatric illness, was arrested by the military during last summer’s Lebanon war while sitting at a coffee shop in his village with some friends*

In early August 2006, a Lebanese civilian was arrested in the village of Jibin in southern Lebanon, while he was having coffee with his friends. On 6 August 2006, an imprisonment order was issued against him under the Imprisonment of Illegal Combatants Law. He was held in the secret detention facility 1391. Immediately after his arrest, his family, through the ICRC, handed over medical documents showing that he suffers from schizophrenia. A psychiatrist working for the Israeli Prison Services’ Mental Health Center examined the prisoner, but determined that there was no sign of an active mental illness and that he did not require the drug treatment listed in the documents his family had sent. Another psychiatric evaluation, carried out on behalf of HaMoked, resulted in different findings and criticized the conclusions of the IPS psychiatrist and the cessation of drug treatment. 

HaMoked appeared in a number of review hearings and filed several petitions on behalf of the prisoner in an attempt to have him released. In one of its petitions, HaMoked argued that the law under which he was being held – the Imprisonment of Illegal Combatants Law – was illegal. The law contravenes both international humanitarian law and Israeli law. For example, its purpose is to deny those who are arrested under it the defenses to which they are entitled under international law and conventions. Defining a person as an illegal combatant is an attempt to create an interim status – something between a civilian and a prisoner of war – and in that way, deny the prisoner his rights. Israel also uses this law to violate the detainees’ rights to proper procedure, and denies them the right to mount a defense. The law also empowers military officers to arrest individuals indefinitely without trial.  

In a Prisoner’s Petition filed by HaMoked, the Court was asked to order the IPS to allow a further psychiatric examination of the prisoner by a psychiatrist appointed by HaMoked. HaMoked requested no prison guard be present within hearing range during the examination and that it would be held in the presence of the prisoner’s attorney. The IPS’ refusal to do so, it was claimed, violated the prisoner’s right to privacy and medical confidentiality. A meeting with a psychiatrist appointed by the prisoner was finally held. The psychiatrist, as noted, disputed the findings of the first examination. 

On 15 October, 2007, the prisoner was released as part of the deal with Hizbullah. 

* Most of the documents in this file are confidential and cannot be published. Once the authorization to publish them is given, they will be available on HaMoked’s website.

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