Egypt FM calls for release of Palestinian political prisoners in Israel

Ahram Online, Sunday 11 May 2014

Nabil Fahmy was speaking during a meeting in Cairo with Fadwa Barghouti, the wife of jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti

Marwan Barghouti
Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti (C) is accompanied by Israeli prison guards after a deliberation at Jerusalem Magistrate's court, in this 25 January 2012 file photo. (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy has called on the international community to pressure Israel to end the administrative detention of Palestinians.

Fahmy's comments came during a meeting in Cairo with Fadwa Barghouti, the wife of Palestinian resistance leader Marwan Barghouti, who has been imprisoned in Israel for over a decade.

According to Fahmy's spokesperson Badr Abdel-Aty, Fadwa Barghouti briefed the minister on the situation of Palestinian administrative detainees in Israel.

Administrative detention is an antiquated procedure dating back to the British Mandate under which military courts can hold suspects without charge for periods of up to six months, which can be renewed indefinitely.

Fahmy affirmed Egypt's commitment to the issue of imprisoned Palestinians. He called for them to be released "as soon as possible" and for administrative detentions to be ended.

He added that the issue was tackled during his visit to Washington last week.

Fahmy has asked Egyptian embassies to support campaigns for the release of Palestinian prisoners, including Barghouti, said Abdel-Aty.

Barghouti, a prominent Fatah leader, was arrested in 2002 by Israeli forces who accused him of leading the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.

The 55-year-old was given five life sentences for attacks he allegedly carried out against Israelis during the second Palestinian intifada.

The second intifada was a four-year uprising against the Israeli occupation that started in late 2000 and left over 4,000 dead.

According to B'tselem, an Israeli human rights group, 3,135 of the total dead were Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces.

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