Munther Amira, a prominent Palestinian human rights defender and social worker, has been held by Israeli forces since December 18, 2023. On January 11, 2024, an Israeli military court upheld a four-month administrative detention order against him. Amira, who urgently needs daily medication for chronic illnesses, faces serious health risks while in detention. His immediate and unconditional release is crucial.
Here’s what you can do:
Write to the Head of the Israeli Defense Forces urging him to:
- Act swiftly to immediately and unconditionally release Munther Amira so that he can return to his family and resume his daily life and much-needed work as a social and community worker.
- Pending his release, ensure that he receives adequate medical care and access all the medication he requires.
Major General Yehuda Fox
Central Command – West Bank
Israel Defense Forces
Salutation: Dear Major General Yehuda Fox,
His Excellency Iddo MOED
Embassy of the State of Israel
50 O’Connor Street, Suite 1005
Ottawa, ON K1P 6L2
Tel: (613) 750-7500 Fax: (613) 750-7555
Munther Amira’s Background and Advocacy
Munther Amira, 53, originates from the depopulated Palestinian village of Deir Aban, near Jerusalem. Currently residing in Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, Amira is a well-known activist dedicated to nonviolent resistance against Israeli occupation and apartheid. As the director of the Aida Youth Center and a key figure in the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC), he champions grassroots movements and peaceful protests.
Circumstances of Amira’s Detention
Following his arrest, Amira was taken to Etzion detention center. During the initial 45-minute interrogation, he was accused of incitement to terrorism based on Facebook posts, which he denied any connection to. The Israeli military prosecution, finding no substantial evidence, opted not to press charges but instead issued a four-month administrative detention order.
Administrative Detention and Human Rights Concerns
Administrative detention allows the detention of individuals without a criminal trial. These orders, often renewable and based on secret evidence, prevent detainees from challenging their detention. Israel’s escalated use of administrative detention against Palestinians, reaching 3,291 cases by the end of 2023, is seen as a violation of international human rights law. This practice is considered arbitrary and potentially amounts to cruel and inhumane treatment.
Munther Amira’s Health at Risk in Detention
Amira, currently held at Ofer Military Prison, was initially denied essential medical care for his high blood pressure and vascular issues. Only after interventions by his lawyer and Physicians for Human Rights Israel was he granted access to some of his medication. His health situation underscores the urgent need for his release and proper medical attention.