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Affidavit No. 6755/2011

Sworn Statement

After having been warned to tell the truth and nothing but the truth or else I shall be subjected to penal action, I, the undersigned, Muhammad ‘Izzat Muhammad Yihya, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 999212137, born on 12 January 1966, a lecturer at the Al Quds Open University, and a resident of the Al Basatin neighbourhood, Jenin city, Jenin governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am a resident of the city of Jenin. I work as a lecturer of Islamic Sciences at Al-Quds Open University in Jenin. In the aftermath of the well-known events that took place in the Gaza Strip on 14 June 2007 between the Fatah and Hamas factions, Palestinian [Fatah] security agencies, especially the General Intelligence and Palestinian Preventive Security (PPS), launched campaigns to arrest Hamas members and supporters in the West Bank. Since then, I have been detained on eight different occasions by these agencies.

The last time I was detained was on 18 September 2011. A summons was handed to whereby I was called to report to the PPS. Once I arrived at the PPS headquarters in Jenin, I was detained until 4 January 2011. I was held in solitary confinement for 36 hours consecutively. I was then relocated to a spacious room with another detainee. I was not beaten or subjected to Shabeh, but I was subjected to psychologically intensive interrogation sessions in the first week of detention during which I was interrogated for at least five hours each day. Following the first week, there were no more interrogations.

I was taken to meet with the Public Prosecution after I had been detained for a period of 48 hours. The charges made against me were far from the truth. I was charged of possessing weapons and fireworks. I completely denied those charges because they were fabricated and false. The Public Prosecution extended the period of my detention for another 48 hours. After this period elapsed, I was brought before a judge at the Jenin Court. He decided to extend my detention for a period of seven days despite the fact that there was no evidence provided to validate the charges made against me. The seven days ended on 28 September 2011 when I was brought back to stand before the same judge once again. After hearing my statement, he decided to release me on bail of JD 5,000. I was then brought back to the detention centre.

 

Half an hour later, I was taken back to the Court and stood before the same judge once again. He told me that the Public Prosecution had appealed the decision of my release. The judge asked for my position. I expressed my dissatisfaction and requested that the judge reaffirm his decision. Once again, I told the judge that I was being interrogated about issues that I had already been questioned about during previous detention periods and that I was punished with detention for more than a year at the headquarters of the PPS in the past for those old cases. I also told the judge that I was an instructor at Al-Quds Open University and that classes of 500 students had been disrupted as a result of my unjustified detention. I said that I was detained without questioning for four days. Still, the judge decided to fulfil the Public Prosecution’s request to revoke the decision on my release. In my opinion, this represented a judicial precedent that undermined the status of the Judiciary. It made me realise that the Judiciary is like a puppet in the hands of the Palestinian security agencies in the West Bank. The judge decided to extend my detention period for another week. Immediately after, Preventive Security officers took me to the Public Prosecution offices opposite the courthouse. After the Public Prosecution heard my statements, it was decided that my detention should be extended for a period of 24 hours [despite the fact that few minutes earlier, the court had already decided to extend Muhammad’s detention for a week]. After I left the Public Prosecution office, the Jenin Public Prosecutor followed me.

“Consider the decision to extend your detention by the Public Prosecution to be cancelled because the Court has already extended your detention for a week.” The Prosecutor said to me.

This is a proof of the absence of coordination between the Court and the Public Prosecution. Then, they took me back to the detention centre at the Preventive Security headquarters, where I was detained for another week per the Preventive Security’s request which was granted by the court. On 4 January 2011, I was stood before the judge again. A decision was issued to release me on a judicial bail of JD 5,000 and a cash bail of JD 500. Having paid the latter, I was released at around 2:00 pm of the same day.

I was detained for a period of 17 days, during which my family was prevented from visiting me. Only my son Abdul-‘Aziz (7 years old), was allowed to visit me for five minutes only. I was not subjected to any abuse. In comparison to previous detentions, the detention conditions were bearable. Interrogators were polite and treated me with respect. They did not utter any insults or curses against me.

This is my declaration, which I hereby sign, 6 October 2011

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: Affidavit No. 6755/2011
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 6 October 2011
  • Name: Muhammad ‘Izzat Muhammad Yihya
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