Ref: 81/2009

Date: 23 June 2009

Time: 12:30 GMT



PLC Speaker, Dr. Aziz al-Dwaik, Released from Israeli Detention


On Tuesday, 23 June 2009, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) released Dr. Aziz al-Dwaik, Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), following three years of arbitrary detention in Israeli jails.


The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) calls upon the international community to exert pressure on IOF to release all Palestinian prisoners, including the approximately 40 PLC Members who are currently detained in Israeli jails.


PCHR note that the detention of the Speaker and other PLC Members from the Change and Reform Bloc affiliated to the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) took place less than three months after the inauguration of the new PLC in 2006.  PCHR also note the continued detention of PLC Members from other parliamentary blocs, including Ahmed Sa’adat, the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Marwan al-Barghouthi, the Secretary of the Fatah movement in the West Bank.  These detentions represent blatant IOF intervention into the work the Palestinian legislature, consequent to the detentions of PLC members, it is currently impossible to achieve quorum in the PLC.


While PCHR is fully aware of the difficulties facing the PLC, including IOF’s measures against the results of the democratic process and the internal Palestinian political fragmentation, it hopes that Dr. Aziz al-Dwaik will immediately resume his work as PLC Speaker and play a role in restoring the status of the legislature as an encouraging and uniting element that can end fragmentation and unite the Palestinian governmental establishment.