PRESS RELEASE

The Israeli Occupying Forces denies the right of the detainee, Nabil Abu Oukel, to meet with his lawyer

Ref.,: 81/2000

Date: 18th June, 2000

 After more than 17 days, the Israeli Authorities are still denying the right of the detainee Nabil Abu Oukel from Jabalyia, Gaza, to have access to his lawyer. PCHR is following up his case, is deeply concerned with the fact that Nabil Abul Oukel might have been subjected to torture.

On 6 June 2000, PCHR requested the Israeli High Court to issue a decision allowing PCHR lawyer to visit Nabil Abu Oukel. The Court rejected the request. On 13 June 2000, PCHR lawyer appealed the decision but on 14 June, the case was again rejected by the Israeli High Court.

It is worth mentioning that Nabil Abu Oukel was arrested by the Israeli Occupation Forces on 1 June 2000 at Rafah border crossing point. He was intending to travel to Jordan for medical treatment, as he suffered from a past injury in his leg: A live bullet was fired at him in 1994 by the Israeli Occupying Forces. PCHR forwarded the case to their Israeli lawyer counterpart for legal representation as since 1995, Palestinian lawyers are forbidden to represent their clients before Israeli Courts.

On previous occasions, the Israeli Occupation Forces have denied the detainees access to their lawyers. The number of cases has increased particularly following the ruling of the Israeli High Court banning methods of torture by the GSS against Palestinian detainees on 6 September 1999.

PCHR is deeply concerned that the Israeli’s prevention for the lawyers to visit their clients raises suspicion that torture is still practiced during interrogation procedure.

PCHR is deeply concerned of the ruling of the Israeli High Court rendered on 14 June as it gravely violates the right of detainees to have access to their lawyers. Moreover, PCHR affirms that such decision indirectly prevent lawyers from verifying that the detainees have not been subjected to ill-treatment.