At least five Palestinian minors have been imprisoned by Israel without being charged in recent months, for Facebook posts that Israeli authorities alleged amounted to “incitement” to commit violence, according to a report released Monday by rights group Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP).
Among them was a 17-year-old identified as Ahmad H., who told DCIP that he was interrogated twice in the first week of August for one and three hours, during which time he had no parent present or access to legal counsel.
When Ahmed told his interrogator that he had deleted everything on his Facebook account after spending 10 days in an Israeli jail in April, the Israeli officer accused the teen of “obstructing the interrogation, claiming that I had asked someone to delete the photos, but I denied it,” Ahmed said.
Days later, Israeli authorities sentenced him to six months in administrative detention, Israel’s widely condemned police of internment without trial or charge based on undisclosed evidence, for indefinitely renewable periods of up to six months.
Fadi J., a 16-year-old interviewed by DCIP, was released on Sep. 2 after spending almost seven months in Israeli jail — without any charges being brought against him — for posting a picture of a rifle on his Facebook page.Fadi told DCIP that “(The interrogator) showed me a picture of an AK-47 rifle that he downloaded from my Facebook page, but I told him it was just a picture,” after which the Israeli officer accused the boy of being a security threat and plotting to carry out an attack.
“Israeli authorities must immediately stop using administrative detention against Palestinian minors,” the report quoted Brad Parker, attorney and international advocacy officer at DCIP, as saying. “Inability to file charges against children due to lack of evidence should never be grounds for holding them indefinitely without charge or trial.
”The report came amid a crackdown by Israel on Palestinian journalists, media organizations, and ordinary citizens for their social media activity, particularly since a wave of unrest began last October.