Petition for writ of habeas corpus: for over 48 hours a Palestinian minor has been held in an undisclosed location not designated for detention
On December 19, 2011, a Palestinian family from the Nablus area requested HaMoked to assist in tracing their 17 year old son who had been arrested at his work by the military early on the previous day.
HaMoked contacted the military incarceration control center and the prison service control center and was informed that the son's name was not listed in in their records. In a further communication, the military revealed that the detaining soldiers still held the minor in their military base that was not a formal detention facility, stating that the soldiers were waiting for a police officer to arrive, and until that time, did not know "what to do with the detainee". Some 30 hours after the arrest, with no news of the minor's whereabouts, HaMoked filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. HaMoked argued that the petitioner was being held illegally in a place neither designated for detention nor adapted for the purpose; the exact location of which was unknown; the detention and whereabouts were not communicated to his family. In the pleadings, HaMoked stressed that was not an isolated case where a detainee had "vanished" because his detention was not logged in by the arresting or prison authorities.
It is undisputed that a detainee has the right to be held in a clear and definite location. The omission to register the detainee in the incarceration facility infringes on his and his family's basic rights. The detainee is left without protection from the actions of the arresting force. A government system which does not ensure the registration of every detainee in the custody facility breaches its obligation.
After the petition was filed, the State attorney's Office informed that the petitioner was in a temporary military detention facility in Huwwara. HaMoked immediately contacted the Huwwara facility only to be told the petitioner-detainee was not listed in the detention log. He was still not registered there on the following morning. Again contacting the State Attorney's Office, HaMoked was informed that it had been revealed that the office had been misled, given erroneous information by the soldiers from the Shomron Regional Brigade base. It now seemed that throughout these endless hours, the detainee – who is a minor – was still held by the arresting force in its base camp.
In a supplementary notice to the court, the State Attorney's Office clarified that the petitioner "was held, contrary to regulations, in a facility not designated for detention". This notice, again, did not disclose the exact location of the detainee before his transfer to police custody. The notice did inform that the petitioner was in the process of being released on bail. On the evening of December 20, the petitioner returned home, and it remains unclear how he had been released on bail.
On December 21, 2011, HaMoked requested to delete the petition and permission to submit a detailed motion for costs against the respondents, in consideration of the military's negligent conduct.