Tell U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to pressure Israel to immediately release Khalida Jarrar, arrested in October 2019 under Israel’s system of administrative detention where secret evidence is used to hold prisoners indefinitely. After being held for over a year without charges or a trial, in March 2021, she was sentenced to two years in jail as part of a plea bargain. Jarrar is a feminist lawmaker and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. On July 12, 2021, Israel denied Ms. Jarrar's request to be temporarily released from prison to attend the funeral of her daughter, 31-year-old Shuha Jarrar, who died suddenly of a heart attack.
Dear Secretary Blinken,
We call on you to pressure Israel to immediately release Khalida Jarrar, a feminist lawmaker and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Jarrar has been detained by the Israeli military since Thursday, October 31, 2019. She has dedicated her life to advocating for Palestinian political prisoners and for women’s rights. Prior to her recent arrest, Jarrar was held in administrative detention by Israel on separate occasions in 2015 — 15 months of imprisonment — and from July 2017, through February 2019.
Jarrar was held for over a year without charges or a trial until March 2021, when she was sentenced to two years in prison as part of a plea bargain. On July 12, 2021, Israel denied Ms. Jarrar's request to be temporarily released from prison to attend the funeral of her daughter, 31-year-old Shuha Jarrar, who died suddenly of a heart attack.
Elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in January 2006, Khalida Jarrar is a feminist and a leftist member of the political wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. She has taken the lead as a member of the Palestinian National Committee to hold Israeli officials accountable for war crimes in the International Criminal Court. During her 2017-2019 imprisonment, she organized other Palestinian female political prisoners to protest detention conditions and the use of surveillance cameras. While detained, she also taught classes on human rights and international law, facilitated book readings, and developed a colloquium for older prisoners to educate and help the younger ones complete their high school studies.
Jarrar's recent arrest is evidence of Israel's continuous attempts to eliminate peaceful political activism, work for Palestinian women's rights, and exposure of Israel war crimes. Administrative detention is Israel’s arbitrary system that allows it to incarcerate Palestinian activists and parliamentarians without trial or charge, alleging that a person plans to commit a future offense. Administrative detention has no time limit and the Israeli military is not required to disclose evidence that proves the planned future crime. It is reported that there are over 400 Palestinians detained today without charge or trial, many of whom spend years imprisoned under indefinitely renewed administrative detention orders. The purpose of administrative detention is to prevent human rights activists and Palestinian parliamentarians from advocating for Palestinian human rights. It is a serious violation of international law and human rights standards.
As the U.S. Secretary of State, I need you to speak out for the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar and to call for an end to Israel’s administrative detention policy.